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Religion and fertility: The French connection

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  • Thomas Baudin

    (Université catholique de Louvain)

Abstract

Thanks to the recent development of rich datasets including both economic and cultural variables, economists are now able to properly measure the impact of culture on economic behaviors. This has conduct to the emergence of models where individual fertility results from the interaction between economic and cultural characteristics of parents. This evolution of the literature tends to rehabilitate, at least in part, the Synthesis Model of fertility. In this line, the present paper investigates the determinants of fertility on a French dataset. It shows that cultural and economic characteristics of the respondents are both of the highest importance to explain total fertility rates. I especially find that religious affiliation does not explain fertility behaviors while religiousness does. Culture is not approximated only thanks to religious variables, I also test the impact of the transmission of fertility behaviors and "family ties" among generations. I show that they are as much important as religious variables. This paper also validates the usual predictions of family economics. The income of male has a positive impact on female´s fertility while the female´s income has a negative impact. Moreover, school attainment of women negatively influences their fertility. Finally, in line with recent studies, the present paper reconciles the Beckerian analysis of fertility behaviors and the Easterlin´s view that non economical factors, namely culture, has to be taken into account to explain the evolution of fertility behaviors.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Baudin, 2015. "Religion and fertility: The French connection," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(13), pages 397-420, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:32:y:2015:i:13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bastien CHABE-FERRET, 2013. "The Importance of Fertility Norms: New Evidence from France," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Klaus Prettner & Holger Strulik, 2017. "It's a Sin—Contraceptive Use, Religious Beliefs, and Long-run Economic Development," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 543-566, August.
    3. Robert Stelter, 2016. "Fertility and health insurance types in Germany," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien, 2016. "Adherence to Cultural Norms and Economic Incentives: Evidence from Fertility Timing Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 10269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Baudin, Thomas, 2010. "A Role For Cultural Transmission In Fertility Transitions," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 454-481, September.
    6. Thomas Baudin, 2015. "Religion and fertility: The French connection," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(13), pages 397-420, February.
    7. Thomas Baudin, 2012. "More on Religion and Fertility: The French Connection," Working Papers hal-00993310, HAL.
    8. repec:spr:eurpop:v:33:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10680-016-9409-x is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:12 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cultural transmission; family ties; fertility; religion; religiosity;

    JEL classification:

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

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