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Forecasting Aggregate Period Specific Birth Rates: The Time Series Properties of a Microdynamic Neoclassical Model of Fertility

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  • James J. Heckman
  • James R. Walker

Abstract

This article demonstrates the value of microdata for understanding the effect of wages on life cycle fertility dynamics. Conventional estimates of neoclassical economic fertility models obtained from linear aggregate time series regressions are widely criticized for being nonrobust when adjusted for serial correlation. Moreover, the forecasting power of these aggregative neoclassical models has been shown to be inferior when compared with conventional time series models that assign no role to wages. This article demonstrates, that when neoclassical models of fertility are estimated on microdata using methods that incorporate key demographic restrictions and when they are properly aggregated, they have considerable forecasting power.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3133.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3133.

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Date of creation: Oct 1989
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Publication status: published as Heckman, James J. and James R. Walker. "Forecasting Aggregate Period-Specific Birth Rates: The Time Series Properties Of A Microdynamic Neoclassical Model Of Fertility," Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1989, v84(408), 958-965.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3133

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  1. Björklund, Anders, 1986. "Assessing the Decline of Wage Dispersion in Sweden," Working Paper Series 157, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  3. Ward, Michael P & Butz, William P, 1980. "Completed Fertility and Its Timing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 917-40, October.
  4. Butz, William P & Ward, Michael P, 1979. "The Emergence of Countercyclical U.S. Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 318-28, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ortega, Jose Antonio & Poncela, Pilar, 2005. "Joint forecasts of Southern European fertility rates with non-stationary dynamic factor models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 539-550.

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