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Contraception and the Fertility Transition

Listed author(s):
  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep
  • Chakraborty, Shankha

Dominant paradigms of fertility choice either ignore or assume small, unchanging costof fertility limitation. Inspired by the historical English experience that is contrary to suchassumptions,we modify the Beckerian paradigm to incorporate costly, societal influence oncontraception. In the model economy, heterogeneous, generationally-linked householdschoose between "traditional" and "modern" contraception. The modern has a higher fixedcost (reflecting social opprobrium) but a lower variable cost of averting childbirths. Initially,the rich adopt the modern, and in doing so, unleash a social diffusion process. Eventuallyeveryone switches lowering fertility further and across society. What hastens the switch isthe decline in child mortality. The model is broadly consistent with important features ofthe English transition and has implications for more recent transitions.

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File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p18182-2014-10-22.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers Archive with number 38182.

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Date of creation: 22 Oct 2014
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:38182
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

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