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Old Habits Die Hard (Sometimes) Can département heterogeneity tell us something about the French fertility decline??

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  • Tommy E. Murphy

Abstract

Recent developments in endogenous growth theory suggest fertility decline in the context of the demographic transition was crucial for achieving long-term growth, and that it was triggered by forces eminently economic in nature. It is then somewhat puzzling that France, which was not as industrialised as other parts of Europe, lead that decline. Taking advantage of the considerable internal heterogeneity, this paper looks within France for some answers. Using département level data for the last quarter of the nineteenth century, it studies the correlates of fertility estimating a 2SLS fixed-effects model. Results confirm the importance of some of the forces suggested by standard fertility choice models. Nevertheless, certain non-economic factors (such as secularisation) –for which I provide new measurements– also explain part of the variation. Spatial dependence turns out as well to be significant in all specifications of the model, suggesting some sort of diffusion was indeed taking place.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 364.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:364

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Cited by:
  1. Oded Galor, 2011. "The Demographic Transition: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 17057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sandra González-Bailón & Tommy E. Murphy, 2011. "Social Interactions and Long-Term Fertility Dynamics.A Simulation Experiment in the Context of the French Fertility Decline," Working Papers 419, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Alberto Basso & David Cuberes Vilalta, 2011. "Institutions, culture and the onset of the demographic transition," Working Papers. Serie AD 2011-13, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  4. Hans-Joachim Voth & Nico Voigtlaender, 2010. "How the West 'Invented' Fertility Restriction," 2010 Meeting Papers 326, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2010. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Working Papers 990, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Casper Worm Hansen & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Lars Lønstrup, 2014. "The Fertility Transition in the US: Schooling or Income?," Economics Working Papers 2014-02, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  7. Jun, Bogang, 2013. "The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from the Korean Development Path," MPRA Paper 43971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon & Tommy Murphy, 2008. "When Smaller Families Look Contagious: A Spatial Look At The French Fertility Decline Using An Agent-Based Simulation Model," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _071, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Shin, Inyong, 2013. "The Effect of Compressed Demographic Transition and Demographic Gift on Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 45003, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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