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How Far Can Economic Incentives Explain the French Fertility and Education Transition?

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  • de la Croix, David
  • Perrin, Faustine

Abstract

We analyze how much a core rational-choice model can explain the temporal and spatial variation in fertility and school enrollment in France during the 19th century. The originality of our approach is in our reliance on the structural estimation of a system of first-order conditions to identify the deep parameters. Another new dimension is our use of gendered education data, allowing us to have a richer theory having implications for the gender wage and education gaps. Results indicate that the parsimonious rational-choice model explains 38 percent of the variation of fertility over time and across counties, as well as 71 percent and 83 percent of school enrollment of boys and girls, respectively. The analysis of the residuals (unexplained by the economic model) indicates that additional insights might be gained by interacting incentives with cross-county differences in family structure and cultural barriers.

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  • de la Croix, David & Perrin, Faustine, 2017. "How Far Can Economic Incentives Explain the French Fertility and Education Transition?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12531, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12531
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    Cited by:

    1. Claude Diebolt & Tapas Mishra & Faustine Perrin, 2019. "Gender Equality as an Enforcer of Individuals’ Choice between Education and Fertility: Evidence from 19th Century France," Working Papers 12-19, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    2. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2020. "Family Types and Political Development," ILE Working Paper Series 34, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    3. Vincent Bignon & Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa, 2018. "The Toll of Tariffs: Protectionism, Education and Fertility in Late 19th Century France," Working papers 690, Banque de France.
    4. Blanc, Guillaume & Wacziarg, Romain, 2020. "Change and persistence in the Age of Modernization: Saint-Germain-d’Anxure, 1730–1895," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    5. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien, 2019. "Adherence to cultural norms and economic incentives: Evidence from fertility timing decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 24-48.
    6. Faustine Perrin, 2021. "On the Origins of the Demographic Transition Rethinking the European Marriage Pattern," Working Papers of BETA 2021-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    7. Fabian Siuda & Uwe Sunde, 2021. "Disease and demographic development: the legacy of the plague," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-30, March.
    8. Marianna BATTAGLIA & Bastien CHABÉ-FERRET & Lara LEBEDINSKI, 2021. "Segregation, fertility, and son preference: the case of the Roma in Serbia," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 233-260, June.
    9. Guillaume Blanc, 2020. "Modernization Before Industrialization: Cultural Roots of the Demographic Transition in France," Working Papers hal-02318180, HAL.
    10. Faustine Perrin, 2021. "On the Origins of the Demographic Transition. Rethinking the European Marriage Pattern," Working Papers 01-21, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    11. Faustine Perrin, 2020. "On the Origins of the Demographic Transition. Rethinking the European Marriage Pattern," Working Papers 0202, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    12. David Paton & Stephen Bullivant & Juan Soto, 2020. "The impact of sex education mandates on teenage pregnancy: International evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 790-807, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic transition; education; Family macroeconomics; France; Gender Gap; Quality-Quantity Tradeoff;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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