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The Effect of Public Policies on recent Swedish Fertility Behavior


  • Walker, J.R.


In the literature the recent upsurge in period birth rates is seen as evidence of a pronatalist effect of Sweden's extensive social insurance programs. Yet, these explanations cannot account for the downturn in birth rates in the 1970s, the delay in childbearing, and the constancy of cohort birth rates which characterize recent Swedish fertility behavior. To summarize the effect of Sweden's economic and policy environment on the observed fertility patterns, I use a neoclassical economic framework to develop the shadow price of fertility. Although strong simplifying assumptions are imposed, the estimated price series exhibit a negative relationship with period fertility rates and the change in the estimated relative prices of fertility over the life cycle lend modest support for the delayed childbearing.
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Suggested Citation

  • Walker, J.R., 1994. "The Effect of Public Policies on recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Working papers 9422, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  • Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:9422

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1984. "An Estimable Dynamic Stochastic Model of Fertility and Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 852-874, October.
    2. Edin, P.A. & Holmlund, B., 1992. "The Swedish Wage Structure : The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Policy," Papers 1992-13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    3. Björklund, Anders, 1986. "Assessing the Decline of Wage Dispersion in Sweden," Working Paper Series 157, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    4. Lazear, Edward P. & Michael, Robert T., 1988. "Allocation of Income within the Household," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226469669.
    5. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 11-44, August.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, January.
    7. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
    8. Thomas Aronsson & James R. Walker, 1997. "The Effects of Sweden's Welfare State on Labor Supply Incentives," NBER Chapters,in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 203-266 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
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    demography ; fertility;


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