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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

  • 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)

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.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 73-100

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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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