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Do Couples Bargain over Fertility ?


  • Timo Hener


Neoclassical theory predicts that opportunity costs depress fertility. This view may be oversimplifying. In a household bargaining framework, wages also affect the intra-household distribution and, thus, the investment in household public goods like children. We demonstrate in a standard collective model the interplay of child preferences with opportunity cost and bargaining power effects. Theory provides the seemingly counter-intuitive result that, under certain conditions, female wages can increase fertility. In the empirical analysis, we present results consistent with the prediction that for couples with discordant child preferences bargaining power affects fertility choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Timo Hener, 2015. "Do Couples Bargain over Fertility ?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 211-231.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2015:i:117-118:p:211-231
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.117-118.211

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    Cited by:

    1. Kesternich, Iris & Siflinger, Bettina & Smith, James P. & Steckenleiter, Carina, 2020. "Unbalanced sex ratios in Germany caused by World War II and their effect on fertility: A life cycle perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    2. Matthias Doepke & Fabian Kindermann, 2019. "Bargaining over Babies: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3264-3306, September.
    3. Doepke, Matthias & Kindermann, Fabian, 2014. "Intrahousehold Decision Making and Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 8726, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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