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Determinants Of Low Fertility In Singapore: Evidence From A Household Survey



    () (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore, Singapore)


    (Department of Economics (Alumnus), National University of Singapore, Singapore)


Below-replacement fertility is a common problem among the rich countries with far-reaching economic and social implications. The problem is more acute in some economically fast-growing Asian countries where the fertility decline has been more rapid and the current fertility rates have reached levels that are unprecedented in recent history. In this paper, data from a unique household survey have been used to understand the determinants of low fertility in one such country: Singapore. The total fertility rate in Singapore has dropped from 4.7 children per woman in 1965 to 1.2 in 2011. This is well below the replacement level of 2.1 and one of the lowest in the world. The authors identify three key determinants of fertility in Singapore: (1) age at marriage; (2) household income; and (3) number of siblings' children. They find that fertility is negatively related to age at marriage and positively related to the number of siblings' children. The relationship between fertility and household income is U-shaped: the relationship is negative for household incomes of up to S$21 000 (in 2010 Singapore dollars) and positive for higher incomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Aamir Rafique Hashmi & Wen Jie Mok, 2013. "Determinants Of Low Fertility In Singapore: Evidence From A Household Survey," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 58(04), pages 1-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:serxxx:v:58:y:2013:i:04:n:s0217590813500239 DOI: 10.1142/S0217590813500239

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sebastian Edwards, 2001. "Capital Mobility and Economic Performance: Are Emerging Economies Different?," NBER Working Papers 8076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. M Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 8-62, April.
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    5. Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth: A Panel Data Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 512-541, September.
    6. Eswar S. Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei & M. Ayhan Kose, 2007. "Financial Globalization, Growth and Volatility in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 457-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Fertility; Singapore; J11; J13;

    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


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