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The Fertility Transition Around the World - 1950-2005

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  • Strulik, Holger
  • Vollmer, Sebastian

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the distribution of fertility rates across the world using parametric mixture models. We demonstrate the existence of twin peaks and the division of the world's countries in two distinct components: a high-fertility regime and a low fertility regime. Whereas the significance of twin peaks vanishes over time, the two fertility regimes continue to exists over the whole observation period. In 1950 about two thirds of the world's countries belonged to the high-fertility regime and the rest constituted the low-fertility regime. By the year 2005 this picture has reversed. Within both the low- and the high-fertility regime the average fertility rate declined, with a larger absolute decline within the high-fertility regime. Visually, the two peaks moved closer together. For the low fertility-group we find both beta- and sigma- convergence but we cannot establish any convergence pattern for the high fertility regime. Overall our findings are difficult to reconcile with the standard view of a fertility trap but they support the "differentiated take-off" view established in the Unified Growth literature.

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  • Strulik, Holger & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2010. "The Fertility Transition Around the World - 1950-2005," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-443, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-443
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Lanz & Simon Dietz & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Global Population Growth, Technology, And Malthusian Constraints: A Quantitative Growth Theoretic Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 973-1006, August.
    2. Inyong Shin, 2016. "Change and prediction of income and fertility rates across countries," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1119367-111, December.
    3. Holger Strulik & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz, 2013. "The past and future of knowledge-based growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 411-437, December.
    4. Alan Fernihough & Mark McGovern, 2014. "Do fertility transitions influence infant mortality declines? Evidence from early modern Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1145-1163, October.
    5. Attar, M. Aykut, 2013. "Growth and Demography in Turkey: Economic History vs. Pro-Natalist Rhetoric," MPRA Paper 47275, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Strulik, Holger & Prettner, Klaus & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2010. "R\&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-457, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    7. Thomas Gries & Rainer Grundmann, 2014. "Trade and fertility in the developing world: the impact of trade and trade structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1165-1186, October.
    8. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 357-385, December.

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    Keywords

    Fertility; Convergence; Twin Peaks; Fertility Regimes; Unifed Growth.;
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