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The macroeconomics of fertility in small open economies: A test of the Becker-Barro model for The Netherlands and New Zealand

Author

Listed:
  • Jacques Poot

    () (School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand)

  • Jacques J. Siegers

    () (Economic Institute/Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Labour Market and Distribution Issues, University of Utrecht, Kromme Nieuwegracht 22, 3512 HH Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Abstract

Becker and Barro (1988) formulated a theoretical model which identified a range of macroeconomic variables which can temporarily or permanently affect fertility in small open economies. This article tests the Becker-Barro model with relevant data which covers most of the 20th century for two small open economies, namely The Netherlands and New Zealand. The results show that government subsidies for having children have a strong positive effect on fertility, while the provision of public pensions has a strong negative effect. The degree of intergenerational altruism appears to have been declining. Moreover, there is only weak support for the hypothesis that real interest rates positively influence fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Poot & Jacques J. Siegers, 2001. "The macroeconomics of fertility in small open economies: A test of the Becker-Barro model for The Netherlands and New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 73-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:14:y:2001:i:1:p:73-100
    Note: Received: 2 March 1998/Accepted: 1 September 1999
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Lattimore & Clinton Pobke, 2008. "Recent Trends in Australian Fertility," Staff Working Papers 0806, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    2. Löfström, Åsa & Westerberg, Thomas, 2006. "Variations in Fertility - a Consequense of Other Factors Besides Love?," Umeå Economic Studies 681, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. John Janssen, 2002. "Long-term fiscal projections and their relationship with the intertemporal budget constraint: An application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    4. George Hondroyiannis, 2010. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-50, March.
    5. George Hondroyiannis, 2010. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-50, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynastic utility · altruism · fertility · social security · real interest rates;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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