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A role for cultural transmission in fertility transitions

The paper proposes an economic and cultural mechanism that can predict a fertility transition and its timing. The cultural structure of the population is endogenously determined by a cultural evolution mechanism. The fertility rates reduction in the long run is always the result of an interaction between the cultural and economic structures of the society. Permanent productivity schocks have to distort sufficiently the cultural structure of the population to make acceptable modern behaviours (in term of fertility) to the traditionalist parents. An increase in the average income level provoked by the technological progress will be necessary but not sufficient condition to undergo a fertility transition. Finally, a fertility transition can always appear in the economy whathever the initial cultural structure but that cultural structure determines the timing of the transition.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2007/V07032.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number v07032.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:v07032
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