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Social Interactions and Long-Term Fertility Dynamics.A Simulation Experiment in the Context of the French Fertility Decline

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  • Sandra González-Bailón
  • Tommy E. Murphy

Abstract

We build an agent-based simulation model that incorporates both historical data on population characteristics and spatial information on the geography of France to experimentally study the role of social interactions in fertility decisions. We assess how different behavioural and interdependence assumptions cause variations in macro dynamics and diffusion patterns. The analyses show that incorporating social interactions into the model contribute to mimic empirically observed behaviour. Our findings suggest individual-level mechanisms through which the observed demographic transition was materialised. Keywords fertility decline, demographic transition, diffusion, France, simulation experiments, agent-based models, decision-making, social norms, social interactions. JEL classification N33, J13, C15.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandra González-Bailón & Tommy E. Murphy, 2011. "Social Interactions and Long-Term Fertility Dynamics.A Simulation Experiment in the Context of the French Fertility Decline," Working Papers 419, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:419
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Cantoni & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2011. "The Consequences of Radical Reform: The French Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3286-3307, December.
    3. Chesnais, Jean-Claude, 1992. "The Demographic Transition: Stages, Patterns, and Economic Implications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286592.
    4. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2000. "Fertility decline as a coordination problem," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 231-263, December.
    5. Tommy E. Murphy, 2010. "Old Habits Die Hard (Sometimes) Can département heterogeneity tell us something about the French fertility decline??," Working Papers 364, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
    7. Nico Voigtl?nder & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "How the West "Invented" Fertility Restriction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2227-2264, October.
    8. Durlauf,S.N. & Walker,J.R., 1999. "Social interaction and fertility transitions," Working papers 28, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    9. Karen Mason, 1997. "Explaining fertility transitions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 443-454, November.
    10. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
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    12. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
    13. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, September.
    14. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    15. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-291, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General

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