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The fertility transition around the world

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  • Holger Strulik

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  • Sebastian Vollmer

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we study the evolution of the distribution of fertility rates across the world from 1950 to 2005 using parametric mixture models. We demonstrate the existence of twin peaks and the division of the world’s countries in two distinct components: a high-fertility regime and a low-fertility regime. Whereas the significance of twin peaks vanishes over time, the two fertility regimes continue to exists over the whole observation period. In 1950, about two thirds of the world’s countries belonged to the high-fertility regime and the rest constituted the low-fertility regime. By the year 2005, this picture has reversed. Within both the low- and the high-fertility regime, the average fertility rate declined, with a larger absolute decline within the high-fertility regime. Visually, the two peaks moved closer together. For the low-fertility regime, we find both β- and σ -convergence but we cannot establish any convergence pattern for the high-fertility regime. Our results support the idea of conditional convergence where the condition is the successful initiation of the fertility transition. The results are less supportive of the existence of a unique high-fertility equilibrium. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2015. "The fertility transition around the world," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 31-44, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:1:p:31-44
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0496-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Global Population Growth, Technology, And Malthusian Constraints: A Quantitative Growth Theoretic Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 973-1006, August.
    2. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2013. "The past and future of knowledge-based growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 411-437, December.
    3. Attar, M. Aykut, 2013. "Growth and Demography in Turkey: Economic History vs. Pro-Natalist Rhetoric," MPRA Paper 47275, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Papagni, Erasmo, 2018. "Fertility Transitions in Developing Countries: Convergence, Timing, and Causes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 248, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Strulik, Holger & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2010. "R\&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-457, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Gahramanov, Emin & Gaibulloev, Khusrav & Younas, Javed, 2017. "Parental Transfers and Fertility: Does the Recipient's Gender Matter?," MPRA Paper 79531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Minasyan, Anna & Zenker, Juliane & Klasen, Stephan & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2019. "Educational gender gaps and economic growth: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 199-217.
    8. Thomas Gries & Rainer Grundmann, 2014. "Trade and fertility in the developing world: the impact of trade and trade structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1165-1186, October.
    9. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Ivets, Maryna & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "Disease and Fertility: Evidence from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10834, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 357-385, December.
    11. Hirazawa, Makoto & Yakita, Akira, 2017. "Labor supply of elderly people, fertility, and economic development," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 75-96.
    12. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2015. "Malthus to modernity: wealth, status, and fertility in England, 1500–1879," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 3-29, January.
    13. Luca Zanin & Rosalba Radice & Giampiero Marra, 2015. "Modelling the impact of women’s education on fertility in Malawi," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 89-111, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Convergence; Twin peaks; J11; J13; O11;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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