IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Constraint or choice? Disentangling fertility determinants by switching regressions

  • Christoph Sax

    (Universität Basel)

Registered author(s):

    In 1953, many poor countries had not yet approached the demographic transition. Accordingly, income generally had a positive impact on fertility in poor countries, while it has a negative impact today. Easterlin´s supply-demand framework offers an explanation for this nonlinearity by attributing the positive relationship to Malthusian (or "supply") factors and the negative relationship to "demand" factors. This paper estimates Easterlin´s supply-demand framework by switching regressions in a panel data set of 152 countries from 1953 to 1998. The technique allows identifying several factors affecting the Malthusian constraint and the demand for children, such as income, the source of income, urbanization, religion and the medical environment. It is found that a combination of higher GDP per capita, a decrease in the infant death rate and an increase in education explain a substantial part of the reversal of the relationship between income and net fertility over the sample period.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 23 (November)
    Pages: 723-754

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:25:y:2011:i:23
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," NBER Working Papers 11569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
    5. Weir, David R., 1995. "Family Income, Mortality, and Fertility on the Eve of the Demographic Transition: A Case Study of Rosny-Sous-Bois," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 1-26, March.
    6. Moshe Hazan & Binyamin Berdugo, 2005. "Child Labor, Fertility and Economic Growth," Development and Comp Systems 0507002, EconWPA.
    7. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "A Stochastic Model of Mortality, Fertility, and Human Capital Investment," Macroeconomics 0212009, EconWPA.
    8. Shapiro, David & Tambashe, B. Oleko, 2001. "Fertility in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Working Papers 7-01-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
    10. Frédéric Docquier, 2004. "Income Distribution, Non-convexities and the Fertility-Income Relationship," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 261-273, 05.
    11. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Quandt, R E, 1986. "A Note on Estimating Disequilibrium Models with Aggregation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 223-42.
    13. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
    15. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. repec:cor:louvrp:-619 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1974. "A Note on a Fair and Jaffee Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 759-62, July.
    18. Fair, Ray C & Jaffee, Dwight M, 1972. "Methods of Estimation for Markets in Disequilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 497-514, May.
    19. Schapiro, Morton Owen, 1982. "Land Availability and Fertility in the United States, 1760–1870," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 577-600, September.
    20. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, July.
    21. Maddala, G S & Nelson, Forrest D, 1974. "Maximum Likelihood Methods for Models of Markets in Disequilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 1013-30, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:25:y:2011:i:23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.