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Secular fertility declines, baby booms and economic growth: international evidence

  • Tamura, Robert
  • Simon, Curtis J.

We present a model capable of explaining 200 years of declining fertility, 200 years of rising educational achievement and a significant Baby Boom for the United States and twenty other industrialized market countries. We highlight the importance of secularly declining young adult mortality risk for producing secularly declining fertility and a sudden decline in housing costs after the end of the Second World War, but ending by 1970. In addition we introduce a new puzzle to the profession. Given the magnitude of the Baby Boom, roughly equal to fertility in 1900 for many of these countries, why did schooling of the Baby Boom cohorts not fall to the 1900 level of their predecessors? In fact, not only do they not fall, but their schooling levels are higher than previous cohorts. Using a quantitative model we are able to identify the magnitude of the reduction in costs of education necessary to explain this paradoxical increase in schooling. We find empirical support for these cost reductions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41669.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41669
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  1. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2010. "Maternal Health and the Baby Boom," NBER Working Papers 16146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," NBER Working Papers 8345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
  4. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  5. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  6. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay D. Maoz, 2008. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," IEW - Working Papers 355, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & David H. Autor & David Lyle, 2002. "Women, War and Wages: The Effect of Female Labor Supply on the Wage Structure at Mid-Century," NBER Working Papers 9013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tamura, Robert, 2006. "Human capital and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 26-72, February.
  9. Haurin, Donald R. & Brasington, David, 1996. "School Quality and Real House Prices: Inter- and Intrametropolitan Effects," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-368, December.
  10. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 183-207, March.
  11. Simon, Curtis & Tamura, Robert, 2008. "Do higher rents discourage fertility? evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000," MPRA Paper 7721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Todd Schoellman, 2007. "The Causes and Consequences of Cross-Country Differences in Schooling Attainment," 2007 Meeting Papers 297, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Satyajit Chatterjee & Gerald Carlino, 1998. "Aggregate employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Working Papers 98-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Francisco Covas & J.M.C. Santos Silva, 2000. "A modified hurdle model for completed fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 173-188.
  15. Martha J. Bailey & William J. Collins, 2011. "Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 189-217, April.
  16. Chad Turner & Robert Tamura & Sean Mulholland & Scott Baier, 2007. "Education and income of the states of the United States: 1840–2000," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-158, June.
  17. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "How Important are Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Economic Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 23-49, January.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521821759 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521879750 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Cristino R. Arroyo & Junsen Zhang, 1997. "Dynamic microeconomic models of fertility choice: A survey," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 23-65.
  21. Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
  22. Tamura, Robert, 1991. "Income Convergence in an Endogenous Growth Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 522-40, June.
  23. Robert W. Fogel & Nathaniel Grotte, 2011. "An Overview of The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700," NBER Working Papers 16938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
  25. Tamura, Robert & Dwyer, Gerald P. & Devereux, John & Baier, Scott, 2012. "Economic growth In the long run," MPRA Paper 41324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  26. Roderick Floud & Robert W. Fogel & Bernard Harris & Sok Chul Hong, 2011. "The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number foge10-1, May.
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