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Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models

  • Larry E. Jones
  • Alice Schoonbroodt

Economic demographers have long analyzed fertility cycles. This paper builds a foundation for these cycles in a model of fertility choice with dynastic altruism and aggregate shocks. It is shown that under reasonable parameter values, fertility is pro-cyclical and that, following a shock, fertility continues to cycle endogenously as subsequent cohorts enter retirement. Quantitatively, in the model, the Great Depression generates a large baby bust -- between 38% and 63% of that seen in the U.S. in the 1930s -- which is subsequently followed by a baby boom -- between 53% and 92% of that seen in the U.S. in the 1950s.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16596.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16596.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16596
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  1. Andolfatto, David & Gervais, Martin, 2008. "Endogenous debt constraints in a life-cycle model with an application to social security," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 3745-3759, December.
  2. Schoonbroodt, Alice & Tertilt, Michele, 2010. "Property rights and efficiency in OLG models with endogenous fertility," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 1020, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  3. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2014. "Maternal health and the baby boom," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 225-269, 07.
  4. repec:fth:sotoec:0031 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Cette, G. & Kocoglu, Y. & Mairesse, J., 2010. "Productivity Growth and Levels in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States in the Twentieth Century," Working papers 271, Banque de France.
  6. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt, 2010. "Complements Versus Substitutes And Trends In Fertility Choice In Dynastic Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 671-699, 08.
  7. Doepke, Matthias & Hazan, Moshe & Maoz, Yishay D, 2008. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 6628, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2009. "Explaining International Fertility Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 771-807, May.
  9. Michael R. Haines, 1994. "The Population of the United States, 1790-1920," NBER Historical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. JohnKarl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2007. "Children and Household Wealth," Working Papers wp158, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  11. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  12. Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2002. "The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 646-680, July.
  13. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  14. Diane J. Macunovich, 1998. "Fertility and the Easterlin hypothesis: An assessment of the literature," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 53-111.
  15. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
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