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Causation Among Socioeconomic Time-Series

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  • Robert T. Michael

Abstract

Using annual U. S. time series data from 1950-1974, formal tests of causation are performed among three socioeconomic phenomena: women's labor force participation rates, fertility rates, and divorce rates. Box-Jenkins and other techniques are employed with Granger-Sims type definition of causation based on leads and lags. Women's labor force participation appears to be causally prior to both fertility and divorce; the direction of effect on fertility is negative and on divorce, positive. Additional tests with alternative definitions of variables and a longer (1924-1974) time span also exhibit causal influence from fertility to divorce (with no feedback). When per capita income is also tested for causal influence, it, too, appears causally prior to fertility and divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert T. Michael, 1978. "Causation Among Socioeconomic Time-Series," NBER Working Papers 0246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0246
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    1. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-1187, December.
    2. Frances Kobrin, 1976. "The fall in household size and the rise of the primary individual in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 13(1), pages 127-138, February.
    3. Cheng Hsiao, 1977. "Money And Income, Causality Detection," NBER Working Papers 0167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
    5. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-552, September.
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