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Modeling fertility in modern populations


  • Paraskevi Peristera

    (Athens University of Economics and Business)

  • Anastasia Kostaki

    (Athens University of Economics and Business)


The age-specific fertility pattern has a typical shape common in all human populations through years. In order to describe this shape a number of parametric models have been proposed. Recently, the fertility pattern in developed countries exhibits a deviation from the classical one. Recent data sets of United Kingdom, Ireland and US show distortions in terms of a bulge in fertility rates of younger women. Furthermore in countries with distorted fertility, the pattern of first births also exhibits an intense hump in younger ages, stronger than that of the total fertility pattern. This heterogeneity indicated by the recent fertility distributions of European countries and the US might be related to marital status, religion, educational level and differences in social and economic conditions. Additionally in the United States this heterogeneity in fertility patterns might be related to ethnic differences in the timing and the number of births. As expected, the existing models are unable to describe the new shape of the fertility pattern and therefore the use of more appropriate representations is required. In this paper, a new flexible model for describing both the old and the new patterns of fertility is proposed. In order to evaluate the adequacy of the model, we fit it to a variety of empirical fertility schedule.

Suggested Citation

  • Paraskevi Peristera & Anastasia Kostaki, 2007. "Modeling fertility in modern populations," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(6), pages 141-194, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:16:y:2007:i:6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures, Fertility Postponement and Completed Cohort Fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(6), pages 91-144, March.
    2. Hans-Peter Kohler & Dimiter Philipov, 2001. "Variance effects in the bongaarts-feeney formula," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Adsera, Alicia, 2004. "Marital Fertility and Religion: Recent Changes in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Carl Schmertmann, 2003. "A system of model fertility schedules with graphically intuitive parameters," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 9(5), pages 81-110, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua R. Goldstein, 2010. "A behavioral Gompertz model for cohort fertility schedules in low and moderate fertility populations," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Ezra Gayawan & Samson B. Adebayo & Reuben A. Ipinyomi & Benjamin Oyejola, 2010. "Modeling fertility curves in Africa," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(10), pages 211-236, February.

    More about this item


    age-specific fertility rate (ASFR); heterogeneity; high early-ages fertility; parametric modeling; parametric models; parity-specific fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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