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The end of 'lowest-low' fertility? (with supplementary materials)

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua R. Goldstein

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Tomáš Sobotka

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Aiva Jasilioniene

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

Period fertility rates fell to previously unseen low levels in a large number of countries beginning in the early 1990s. The persistence of Total Fertility Rates under 1.3 raised the possibility of dramatic, rapid population aging as well as population decline. In an analysis of recent trends, we find, however, a widespread turn-around in so-called “lowest-low” fertility countries. The reversal has been particularly vigorous in Europe. The number of countries with period total fertility rates less than 1.3 fell from 21 in 2003 to five in 2008, of which four (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan) are in East Asia. Moreover, the upturn in the period TFR was not confined to lowest-fertility countries, but affected the whole developed world. We explore the demographic explanations for the recent rise in fertility stemming from fertility timing effects as well as economic, policy, and social factors. Although the current economic crisis may push down fertility in the short-run, we conclude that formerly lowest-low fertility countries should continue to see further increase in fertility as the transitory effects of shifts to later motherhood become less and less important.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua R. Goldstein & Tomáš Sobotka & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2009. "The end of 'lowest-low' fertility? (with supplementary materials)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-029
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-029.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Luci-Greulich & Olivier Thévenon, 2014. "Does Economic Advancement ‘Cause’ a Re-increase in Fertility? An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries (1960–2007)," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 187-221, May.
    2. García-Manglano, Javier & Nollenberger, Natalia & Sevilla, Almudena, 2014. "Gender, Time-Use, and Fertility Recovery in Industrialized Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fukai, Taiyo, 2017. "Childcare availability and fertility: Evidence from municipalities in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-18.
    4. Ronald R. Rindfuss & Minja Kim Choe & Sarah R. Brauner-Otto, 2016. "The Emergence of Two Distinct Fertility Regimes in Economically Advanced Countries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(3), pages 287-304, June.
    5. María Davia & Nuria Legazpe, 2015. "Educational attainment and maternity in Spain: not only “when” but also “how”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 871-900, December.
    6. Soo-Yeon Yoon, 2017. "The influence of a supportive environment for families on women’s fertility intentions and behavior in South Korea," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(7), pages 227-254, January.
    7. Sang-Hyop Lee & Andrew Mason & Donghyun Park, 2012. "Overview: why does population aging matter so much for Asia? Population aging, economic growth, and economic security in Asia," Chapters,in: Aging, Economic Growth, and Old-Age Security in Asia, chapter 1, pages 1-31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Creina Day, 2015. "Skill Composition, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(1), pages 164-178, March.
    9. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1341-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Maricruz Lacalle-Calderon & Manuel Perez-Trujillo & Isabel Neira, 2017. "Fertility and Economic Development: Quantile Regression Evidence on the Inverse J-shaped Pattern," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 1-31, February.
    11. Le Moglie, Marco & Mencarini, Letizia & Rapallini, Chiara, 2015. "Is it just a matter of personality? On the role of subjective well-being in childbearing behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 453-475.

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    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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