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Does Economic Advancement ‘Cause’ a Re-increase in Fertility? An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries (1960–2007)

Author

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  • Olivier Thévenon

    () (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques, Social Policy Division - OCDE)

  • Angela Luci Greulich

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

In the light of the recent reversal of fertility trends in several highly developed countries, we investigate the impact of economic development and its components on fertility in OECD countries from 1960 to 2007. We find that the strong negative correlation between GDP per capita and fertility does no longer hold for high levels of per capita economic output; the relation instead seems to turn into positive from a certain threshold level of economic development on. Survival of an inverse J-shaped association between GDP per capita and fertility is found when controlling for birth postponement, omitted variable bias, non-stationarity and endogeneity. However, gaps between actual and predicted fertility rates show implicitly the importance of factors influencing fertility above and over per capita income. By decomposing GDP per capita into several components, we identify female employment as co-varying factor for the fertility rebound that can be observed in several highly developed countries. Pointing out to important differences with regard to the compatibility between childbearing and female employment, our results suggest that fertility increases are likely to be small if economic development is not accompanied by institutional changes that improve parents' opportunities to combine work and family life.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Thévenon & Angela Luci Greulich, 2014. "Does Economic Advancement ‘Cause’ a Re-increase in Fertility? An Empirical Analysis for OECD Countries (1960–2007)," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00966571, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00966571
    DOI: 10.1007/s10680-013-9309-2
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00966571
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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Greulich & Olivier Thevenon & Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière, 2015. "Securing women's employment: A fertility booster in European countries?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01298946, HAL.
    2. Marco Le Moglie & Letizia Mencarini & Chiara Rapallini, 2018. "Do Rich Parents Enjoy Children Less?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 964, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Hippolyte d'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(23), pages 691-728, February.
    4. World Bank, 2015. "What’s Next for Old Europe?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22515, The World Bank.
    5. Angela Greulich & Aurélien Dasre & Ceren Inan, 2015. "Fertility Transition in Turkey Who Is Most at Risk of Deciding against Child Arrival?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01298857, HAL.
    6. Frances Goldscheider & Eva Bernhardt & Trude Lappegård, 2015. "The Gender Revolution: A Framework for Understanding Changing Family and Demographic Behavior," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(2), pages 207-239, June.
    7. Thomas Anderson & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2015. "Low Fertility, Socioeconomic Development, and Gender Equity," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 381-407, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Angela Greulich & Olivier Thevenon & Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière, 2016. "Securing women's employment: A fertility booster in European countries?," Working Papers hal-01298862, HAL.
    10. Angela Greulich & Olivier Thevenon & Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière, 2015. "Securing women's employment: A fertility booster in European countries?," Working Papers hal-01298946, HAL.
    11. Kazumasa Oguro & Masaya Yasuoka, 2017. "Stress, Child Care, and Fertility," Discussion Paper Series 153, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jan 2017.
    12. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:57 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Rannveig Kaldager Hart, 2015. "Earnings and first birth probability among Norwegian men and women 1995-2010," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(38), pages 1067-1104, November.
    14. Hirazawa, Makoto & Yakita, Akira, 2017. "Labor supply of elderly people, fertility, and economic development," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 75-96.
    15. repec:esr:resser:rs70 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Creina Day, 2016. "Can Theory Explain the Evidence on Fertility Decline Reversal?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 49(2), pages 136-145, February.
    17. Koichi Futagami & Kunihiko Konishi, 2017. "Rising Longevity, Fertility Dynamics, and R&D-based Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-26, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    18. Jonathan F. Fox & Sebastian Klüsener & Mikko Myrskylä, 2015. "Is a positive relationship between fertility and economic development emerging at the sub-national regional level? Theoretical considerations and evidence from Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2015-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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