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The Butz-Ward Fertility Model in the Light of More Recent Data

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  • Diane J. Macunovich

Abstract

In this study, the Butz and Ward (B-W) estimates from their article, "The Emergence of Countercyclical U.S. Fertility" (1979), are updated using their original sources, and then compared against data drawn from the March Current Population Survey (CPS). The results indicate little similarity between the original B-W estimates of the female hourly wage, and the CPS time series. In particular, the CPS time series show that much of the "dramatic increase" in the female hourly wage in the 1960s as estimated by B-W, resulted from the use of a sharply downward trending series in average hours worked in retail-which contradicts the actual pattern for married women. Estimates of the B-W model using the new CPS series don't work, either in terms of signs or in significance of variables. In addition, even using the original B-W data their model no longer fits in the period after about 1954. These results, seen in the context of more recent work, suggest the need for a more general framework for testing the New Home Economics model of fertility-a framework which allows at least for a changing income effect of the female wage-and a need for more caution in assuming that we are witnessing an emergence of countercyclical fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Diane J. Macunovich, 1995. "The Butz-Ward Fertility Model in the Light of More Recent Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 229-255.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:2:p:229-255
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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Luci-Greulich & Olivier Thévenon, 2014. "Does Economic Advancement ‘Cause’ a Re-increase in Fertility? An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries (1960–2007)," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 187-221, May.
    2. Álvarez Llorente, Gema, 1997. "Decisiones de fecundidad y de participación en el mercado de trabajo de la mujer en España," DE - Documentos de Trabajo. Economía. DE 3884, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2015. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 1031-1073.
    4. David E. Bloom & Dara Lee Luca, 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future," PGDA Working Papers 13016, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    5. Bloom, David E. & Luca, Dara Lee, 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future," IZA Discussion Papers 10163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:51 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
    8. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    9. Angela Luci & Olivier Thevenon, 2010. "Does economic development drive the fertility rebound in OECD countries?," Working Papers hal-00520948, HAL.
    10. Phillip B. Levine, 2001. "The Sexual Activity and Birth-Control Use of American Teenagers," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 167-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Chiara Comolli & Fabrizio Bernardi, 2015. "The causal effect of the great recession on childlessness of white American women," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, December.
    12. Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "The Effect Of House Price On Fertility: Evidence From Hong Kong," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 635-650, July.
    13. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Hannah Liepmann, 2016. "The Impact of a Negative Labor Demand Shock on Fertility - Evidence from the Fall of the Berlin Wall," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2016-042, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    15. Colen, Cynthia G. & Geronimus, Arline T. & Phipps, Maureen G., 2006. "Getting a piece of the pie? The economic boom of the 1990s and declining teen birth rates in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1531-1545, September.
    16. Maria Rita Testa & Stuart Basten, 2012. "Have Lifetime Fertility Intentions Declined During the “Great Recession”?," VID Working Papers 1209, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
    17. Ray C. Fair & Diane J. Macunovich, 1996. "Explaining the Labor Force Participation of Women 20-24," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1116, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    18. Maria Rita Testa & Stuart Gietel-Basten, 2014. "Certainty of meeting fertility intentions declines in Europe during the 'Great Recession'," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(23), pages 687-734, September.
    19. Deniz D. Karaman Örsal & Joshua R. Goldstein, 2010. "The increasing importance of economic conditions on fertility," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    20. Jeon, Yongil & Shields, Michael P., 2008. "The Impact of Relative Cohort Size on U.S. Fertility, 1913-2001," IZA Discussion Papers 3587, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. repec:col:000174:015709 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2011. "Divorce laws and fertility decisions," MPRA Paper 30243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. repec:lde:journl:y:2017:i:87:p:97-123 is not listed on IDEAS

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