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Estimation of a Stochastic Model of Reproduction: An Econometric Approach

In: Household Production and Consumption

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  • James J. Heckman
  • Robert J. Willis

Abstract

In the past few years, there has been substantial progress in the application of the economic theory of household decision making to human fertility behavior. Theoretical emphasis has been given to the effects of the costs of parental tine and money resources devoted to rearing children on the demand for the total number of children in a static framework under conditions of certainty. Empirical work has focused on explaining variation in the number of children ever born to women, who have completed their childbearing, as a function of measures of the household's total resources and the opportunity cost of time, especially the value of the wife's time. One important objection to static theories of fertility is their failure to deal with the implications of the simple fact that reproduction is a stochastic biological process in which the number and timing of births and the traits of children (e.g. sex, intelligence, health, etc.) are uncertain and not subject to direct control. In this paper, we report some initial results of a study in progress whose goal is to develop an integrated theoretical and econometric model of fertility behavior within a sequential stochastic framework. The principal contribution of the paper is to the development of an appropriate econometric methodology for dealing with some new econometric problems that arise in such models.
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Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Robert J. Willis, 1976. "Estimation of a Stochastic Model of Reproduction: An Econometric Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 99-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:3961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    2. R. E. Hall, 1973. "On the Statistical Theory of Unobserved Components," Working papers 117, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Theodore W. Schultz, 1973. "New Economic Approaches to Fertility," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number schu73-1.
    4. Robert T. Michael & Robert J. Willis, 1976. "Contraception and Fertility: Household Production under Uncertainty," NBER Chapters,in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 25-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Adda & Christian Dustmann & Katrien Stevens, 2017. "The Career Costs of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 293-337.
    2. Laisney, François & Pohlmeier, Winfried & Staat, Matthias, 1991. "Estimation of labour supply functions using panel data: a survey," ZEW Discussion Papers 91-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Borjas, George J. & Sueyoshi, Glenn T., 1994. "A two-stage estimator for probit models with structural group effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 165-182.
    4. Charlier, Erwin & Melenberg, Bertrand & van Soest, Arthur, 2000. "Estimation of a censored regression panel data model using conditional moment restrictions efficiently," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 25-56, March.
    5. Carling, Kenneth & Rönnegård, Lars & Roszbach, Kasper, 2004. "Is Firm Interdependence within Industries Important for Portfolio Credit Risk?," Working Paper Series 168, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    6. Christof Heldberger & Ulrich Rendtel & Johannes Schwarze, 1992. "Berufseinmündung von Jugendlichen als mehrstufiges Entscheidungsproblem," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 54, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Ohinata, A., 2011. "Did the US Infertility Health Insurance Mandates Affect the Timing of First Birth?," Discussion Paper 2011-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. Lauridsen, Jørgen T., 2017. "Small-Area Variation of Fertility Rates," COHERE Working Paper 2017:4, University of Southern Denmark, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research.
    9. Arindam Nandi & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 2016. "The unintended effects of cash transfers on fertility: evidence from the Safe Motherhood Scheme in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 457-491, April.
    10. Shapira, Gil, 2013. "How subjective beliefs about HIV infection affect life-cycle fertility : evidence from rural Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6343, The World Bank.
    11. repec:iab:iabmit:v:25:i:4:p:544-552 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Flinn, C. & Heckman, J., 1982. "New methods for analyzing structural models of labor force dynamics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 115-168, January.
    13. repec:eee:jaitra:v:64:y:2017:i:pb:p:101-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Robert T. Michael, 1976. "Factors Affecting Divorce: A Study of the Terman Sample," NBER Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. John Janssen, 2002. "Long-term fiscal projections and their relationship with the intertemporal budget constraint: An application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/05, New Zealand Treasury.
    16. Benjamin Cheng, 1999. "Cointegration and causality between fertility and female labor participation in Taiwan: A multivariate approach," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 27(4), pages 422-434, December.
    17. Heckman, James J & Willis, Robert J, 1977. "A Beta-logistic Model for the Analysis of Sequential Labor Force Participation by Married Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 27-58, February.
    18. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:472-489 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Carling, Kenneth & Alam, Moudud, 2007. "Computationally feasible estimation of the covariance structure in Generalized linear mixed models(GLMM)," Working Papers 2007:14, Örebro University, School of Business.
    20. Krister Sandberg & Thomas Westerberg, 2005. "Spatial Dependence and the Determinants of Child Births in Swedish Municipalities 1974-2002," ERSA conference papers ersa05p431, European Regional Science Association.
    21. Büchel, Felix & Pannenberg, Markus, 1992. "Neue Selbständige in Ostdeutschland : Statusentscheidung, Realisierungschancen und materielle Zufriedenheit," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 25(4), pages 544-552.
    22. Di Tommaso, M.L. & Weeks, M., 2000. "Decision Structures and Discrete Choices: An Application to Labour Market Participation and Fertility," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0009, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    23. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Pill, Patch, Or Shot? Subjective Expectations And Birth Control Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 999-1042, August.
    24. Gema Álvarez-Llorente, 2002. "Decisiones de fecundidad y participación laboral de la mujer en España," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 26(1), pages 187-218, January.
    25. Lundin, Douglas, 2000. "Moral hazard in physician prescription behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 639-662, September.

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