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An analysis of reproductive behaviour in Canada: Results from an intertemporal optimizing model


  • James McIntosh

    () (Department of Economics, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8)


Results based on a sample of Canadian households challenge the findings of most studies which show significant negative effects of schooling on the fertility of women under the age of 45. This is due to the application of methods to an optimization model which distinguish between those households which have completed their reproductive behaviour from those which have not. Completion status and the desired number of children are used to infer characteristics of the optimal programme which are then employed to derive a likelihood function. Traditional demographic methods have so far not fully utilized the distinction between incomplete and completed households in sample surveys. These methods also lead to the conclusion that completed fertility had increased from its all time low in the nineteen seventies.

Suggested Citation

  • James McIntosh, 1999. "An analysis of reproductive behaviour in Canada: Results from an intertemporal optimizing model," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(3), pages 451-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:12:y:1999:i:3:p:451-461
    Note: Received: 9 July 1997/Accepted: 6 June 1998

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2002. "The Relative Earnings of Young Mexican, Black, and White Women," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 122-135, October.
    2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    3. Wei-Jun J. Yeung & Greg J. Duncan & Martha S. Hill, 2001. "Childhood family structure and young adult behaviors," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 271-299.
    4. William S. Comanor & Llad Phillips, 2002. "The Impact of Income and Family Structure on Delinquency," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 5, pages 209-232, November.
    5. Larry Bumpass & R. Raley & James Sweet, 1995. "The changing character of stepfamilies: implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 425-436, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marwân-al-Qays Bousmah, 2017. "The effect of child mortality on fertility behaviors is non-linear: new evidence from Senegal," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 93-113, March.
    2. Livia Elisa Ortensi, 2015. "Engendering the fertility-migration nexus: The role of women's migratory patterns in the analysis of fertility after migration," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(53), pages 1435-1468, June.
    3. Westerberg, Thomas, 2006. "MoreWork, Less Kids - The Relationship Between Market Experience and Number of Children," Umeå Economic Studies 682, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    4. Westerberg, Thomas, 2006. "Two Papers On Fertility - The Case Of Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 683, Umeå University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Fertility · count models · generalized Poisson distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


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