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Differences in Fertility Behavior and Uncertainty: An Economic Theory of the Minority Status Hypothesis

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  • Bastien CHABE-FERRET

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, IMMAQ, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Paolo MELINDI GHIDI

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, IMMAQ, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Universita degli studi di Bologna)

Abstract

We revisit the question of why fertility behaviors and educational decisions appear to vary systematically across ethnic groups. We assess the possibility that fertility differentials across groups remain even though their socio-economic characteristics are similar. More specifically, we consider that parents' fertility decisions are affected by the uncertainty concerning the future economic status of their off-spring. We assume that this uncertainty varies across groups and is linked to the size of the group one belongs to. The transition path gives support to the minority status hypothesis according to which minority members usually have a higher fertility facing low potential for social mobility but may in some instances strategically decrease their fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastien CHABE-FERRET & Paolo MELINDI GHIDI, 2011. "Differences in Fertility Behavior and Uncertainty: An Economic Theory of the Minority Status Hypothesis," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011005, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 12 Dec 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2011005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
    6. George Hondroyiannis, 2010. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-50, March.
    7. de la Croix, David & Doepke, Matthias, 2004. "Public versus private education when differential fertility matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 607-629, April.
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    9. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
    10. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
    11. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-330, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Battaglia, Marianna & Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Lebedinski, Lara, 2017. "Segregation and Fertility: The Case of the Roma in Serbia," IZA Discussion Papers 10929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. David de la Croix & Clara Delavallade, 2015. "Religions, Fertility and Growth in South-East Asia," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Rosa Aisa & Joaquín Andaluz & Gemma Larramona, 2017. "Fertility patterns in the Roma population of Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 115-133, March.
    4. Thomas Baudin & David de la Croix & Paula E. Gobbi, 2015. "Fertility and Childlessness in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(6), pages 1852-1882, June.
    5. Paolo Melindi Ghidi & Thomas Seegmuller, 2017. "The Love for Children Hypothesis and the Multiplicity of Fertility Rates," AMSE Working Papers 1711, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    6. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:45 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility Differentials; Minority Status; Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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