Contraception and Fertility: Household Production Under Uncertainty
Over the past century fertility behavior in the United Stated has undergone profound changes Measured by cohort fertility the average number of children per married woman had declined from about 5.5 children at the time of the Civil War to 2.4 children at the time of the Great Depression. It is seldom emphasized however that an even greater relative change took place in the dispersion of fertility among these women: the percentage of women with, say, seven or more children declined from 36% to under 6%. While students of population have offered reasonably convincing explanations for the decline in fertility over time, they have not succeeded in explaining the fluctuations in the trend and have made surprisingly little effort to explain the large and systematic decline in the dispersion of fertility over time. In this paper we attempt to study contraception behavior and its effects on fertility. One of the effects on which we focus considerable attention is the dispersion or variance in fertility. Our analysis is applied to cross-sectional data but it also provides an explanation for the decline in the variance in fertility over time.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1973|
|Publication status:||published as Michael, Robert T. and Robert J. Willis. "Contraception and Fertility: Household Production Under Uncertainty." Household Production and Consumption,edited by Nestor E. Terleckyj, Vol. 40. Columbia UUniversity Press, (1976),pp. 27-93.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cain, Glen G, 1971. "Issues in the Economics of a Population Policy for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 408-417, May.
- Michael, Robert T, 1973. "Education and the Derived Demand for Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 128-164, Part II, .
- Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 14-64, Part II, .
- Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974.
"Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women,"
in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
- Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1973. "Economic Analysis of Fertility in Israel: Point and Counterpoint," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 202-233, Part II, .
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
- repec:cai:popine:popu_p1961_16n4_0636 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.