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DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, fertility and childlessness in the United States

  • BAUDIN, Thomas

    ()

    (EQUIPPE, Université de Lille 3, France; Université catholique de Louvain, IRES, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • DE LA CROIX, David

    ()

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE and IRES, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • GOBBI, Paula

    ()

    (Université catholique de Louvain, IRES, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

We develop a theory of marriage and fertility, distinguishing the choice to have children from the choice of the number of children. The deep parameters of the model are identified from the 1990 US Census. We measure voluntary and involuntary childlessness, and explain why (1) single women are more often childless than married women but, when mothers, their fertility are almost similar; (2) childlessness exhibits a U- shaped relationship with education for both single and married; (3) the relationship between marriage rates and education is hump-shaped. We show how family patterns have been shaped by the rise in education and wage inequality, and by the shrinking gender wage gap.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2012051.

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Date of creation: 21 Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2012051
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