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

  • Sandra González-Bailón
  • Tommy E. Murphy

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.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 419.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:419
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  1. 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.
  2. 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, 09.
  3. Durlauf,S.N. & Walker,J.R., 1999. "Social interaction and fertility transitions," Working papers 28, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Chesnais, Jean-Claude, 1992. "The Demographic Transition: Stages, Patterns, and Economic Implications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286592, March.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Davide Cantoni & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2009. "The Consequences of Radical Reform: The French Revolution," NBER Working Papers 14831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2008. "How the West "invented" fertility restriction," Economics Working Papers 1264, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2012.
  9. 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.
  10. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. 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 271-91, April.
  14. Karen Mason, 1997. "Explaining fertility transitions," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 443-454, November.
  15. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1998_10n1_0204 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  17. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2000. "Fertility decline as a coordination problem," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 231-263, December.
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