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Does economic development drive the fertility rebound in OECD countries?

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Author Info

  • Angela Luci

    (INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques - INED)

  • Olivier Thevenon

    ()
    (INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques - INED)

Abstract

We examine how far changes in fertility trends are related to ongoing economic development in OECD countries. In the light of the inverse J-shaped relationship between the human development index (HDI) and total fertility rates that was recently found by Myrskylä, Kohler and Billari (2009), we single out the impact of economic development on fertility. We empirically test the hypothesis of a convex impact of GDP per capita on fertility, using data from the OECD area that spans the years 1960 to 2007. We test the robustness of our findings by controlling for birth postponement and for different income distribution patterns. By designating a clear turning point in the relationship between economic development and fertility, we find that economic development is likely to induce a fertility rebound, but is not sufficient to lift fertility to a significantly higher level in all OECD countries. Country-specific factors explain why countries with similar GDP per capita levels achieve significantly lower or higher fertility rates than the estimated baseline, however. By decomposing GDP per capita into several variables, we identify female employment as the main factor impacting fertility, behind GDP variations. The positive association between the increase in female employment and fertility rates suggests a key role played by the changes in norms and institutions supporting the combination of work and family that go along with the process of economic development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00520948.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00520948

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Related research

Keywords: demographic economics; fertility; economic development; female employment; economics of gender;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zahia Ouadah-Bedidi, 2012. "Fécondité et nuptialité différentielles en Algérie : l'apport du recensement de 1998," Working Papers 185, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  2. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2012. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany : implications for family formation and fertily," Working Papers 180, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  3. Kenneth Harttgen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "A Reversal in the Relationship of Human Development with Fertility?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 114, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  4. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany : Implications for family formation and fertility," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13004, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  5. Angela Luci & Olivier Thévenon, 2012. "The impact of family policy packages on fertility trends in developed countries," Working Papers 174, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  6. Mikko Myrskylä & Joshua R. Goldstein & Yen-hsin Alice Cheng, 2012. "New cohort fertility forecasts for the developed world," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  7. Peter McDonald, 2013. "Societal foundations for explaining fertility: Gender equity," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(34), pages 981-994, May.
  8. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2013. "A Theory of Demographic Transition and Fertility Rebound in the Process of Economic Development," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/19, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  9. Carl Schmertmann & Emilio Zagheni & Joshua R. Goldstein & Mikko Myrskylä, 2012. "Bayesian forecasting of cohort fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00786291, HAL.
  11. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00786291 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Arnstein Aassve & Francesco Billari & Léa Pessin, 2012. "Trust and fertility dynamics," Working Papers 055, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  13. Creina Day, 2012. "Will Fertility Rebound In Japan," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 395, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  14. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00660630 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Mikko Myrskylä & Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari, 2011. "High development and fertility: fertility at older reproductive ages and gender equality explain the positive link," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  16. Lechman, Ewa & Dominiak, Piotr & Okonowicz, Anna, 2014. "Fertility rebound and economic growth. New evidence for 18 countries over the period 1970-2011," MPRA Paper 55104, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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