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The Baby Boom and Baby Bust

  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Ananth Seshadri
  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

What caused the baby boom? And can it be explained within the context of the secular decline in fertility that has occurred over the last 200 years? The hypothesis is that:(a) The secular decline in fertility is due to the relentless rise in real wages that increased the opportunity cost of having children;(b) The baby boom is explained by an atypical burst of technological progress in the household sector that occurred in the middle of the last century. This lowered the cost of having children.A model is developed in an attempt to account, quantitatively, for both the baby boom and bust.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828053828680
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar05_data_greenwood.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 183-207

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:183-207
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828053828680
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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2005. "Engines of Liberation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 109-133.
  2. David Andolfatto & Glenn M. MacDonald, 1998. "Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 58, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  3. Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 2000. "Homework in Development Economics: Household Production and the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 680-687, August.
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  5. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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  8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  9. Michael R. Haines, 1994. "The Population of the United States, 1790-1920," NBER Historical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ron Leung & Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "Deflation, Real Wages, and the International Great Depression: A Productivity Puzzle," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 75, Econometric Society.
  11. Paul Gomme & Finn Kydland & Peter Rupert, 2000. "Home production meets time-to-build," Working Paper 0007R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  13. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
  14. Williamson Jeffrey G., 1995. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets since 1830: Background Evidence and Hypotheses," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 141-196, April.
  15. repec:fth:waterl:9503 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, September.
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