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Private Incentives and Social Interactions: Fertility Puzzles in Israel

Listed author(s):
  • Charles F. Manski

    (Northwestern University,)

  • Joram Mayshar

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem,)

This paper explores how private and social incentives for fertility may have combined to produce the complex fertility pattern observed in Israel in the past half-century. Fertility has declined within some ethnic-religious groups, moderately increased in others, and parts of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population have experienced a reverse fertility transition, in which childbearing has increased rapidly and substantially. We present a theoretical analysis of the social dynamics of fertility that shows how private preferences, preferences for conformity to social norms in childbearing, and piecewise linear child allowances could have combined to yield such a complex fertility pattern. We then explain the identification problem that makes it so difficult to infer the actual Israeli fertility process from data on completed fertility. (JEL:J13, Z13, H53) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 181-211

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:181-211
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