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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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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
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Larry Jones & Alice Schoonbrodt, 2016. "Baby Busts and Baby Booms: The Fertility Response to Shocks in Dynastic Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 157-178, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16596
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