IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ris/prodsw/0806.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Recent Trends in Australian Fertility

Author

Listed:
  • Ralph Lattimore
  • Clinton Pobke

    (Productivity Commission)

Abstract

Births in Australia are at an historical high - with around 285 000 babies born in 2007. This corresponds to an estimated total fertility rate of 1.93 babies per woman, the highest since the early 1980s. This is not a one-off event as fertility rates have been generally rising for the last 6 years. Overall, the evidence suggests that after its long downward trend after the Second World War, Australia's fertility rate may have stabilised at around 1.75 to 1.9 babies per woman. Much of the recent increase in the fertility rate is likely to reflect the fact that over the last few decades, younger women postponed childbearing and many are now having these postponed babies (so-called 'recuperation'). This has shown up as higher fertility rates for older women. However, some of the increase is also likely to be due to a 'quantum' effect - an increase in the number of babies women will ultimately have over their lifetimes. For example, today's young women say they are expecting to have more babies over their lifetime than those five years ago. Overall, Australia appears to be in a 'safe zone' of fertility, despite fertility levels being below replacement levels. There is no fertility crisis. Australia's population should continue to grow at one of the highest rates in the developed world because of migrant inflows. Feasibly attainable increases in fertility would not significantly allay ageing of the population, nor address its fiscal and labour market challenges. The views expressed in this paper are those of the staff involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the Productivity Commission.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph Lattimore & Clinton Pobke, 2008. "Recent Trends in Australian Fertility," Staff Working Papers 0806, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:prodsw:0806
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/82371/recent-fertility-trends.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/research/staffworkingpaper/fertility-trends
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yvan St.-Pierre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "An econometric and neoclassical analysis of the timing and spacing of births in Canada from 1950 to 1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 29-51.
    2. Hans-Peter Kohler & Axel Skytthe & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "The age at first birth and completed fertility reconsidered: findings from a sample of identical twins," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
    4. Edith Duclos & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2001. "A 'Natural Experiment' on the Economics of Storks: Evidence on the Impact of Differential Family Policy on Fertility Rates in Canada," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 136, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    5. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    6. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures, Fertility Postponement and Completed Cohort Fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(6), pages 91-144, March.
    7. Robert Schoen, 2004. "Timing effects and the interpretation of period fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 801-819, November.
    8. Walker, James R, 1995. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(3), pages 223-251, August.
    9. S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
    10. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
    11. Robert Mcnown & Cristóbal Ridao-cano, 2004. "The Effect of Child Benefit Policies on Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation in Canada," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 237-254, April.
    12. George Hondroyiannis & Evangelia Papapetrou, 1999. "Fertility choice and economic growth: Empirical evidence from the U.S," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 5(1), pages 108-120, February.
    13. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
    14. Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 2004. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 423-450.
    15. Jacques Poot & Jacques J. Siegers, 2001. "The macroeconomics of fertility in small open economies: A test of the Becker-Barro model for The Netherlands and New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 73-100.
    16. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters,in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 539-555, August.
    18. Ermisch, John & Ogawa, Naohiro (ed.), 1994. "The Family, the Market, and the State in Ageing Societies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288183.
    19. Gopi Shah Goda & Kevin J. Mumford, 2009. "Fertility Response to the Tax Treatment of Children," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1219, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    20. ALan Oster, 2005. "House Prices - Drivers and Links to the Broader Economy: Rational or Irrational Exuberance," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 05-27, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    21. Marit Rønsen, 2004. "Fertility and Public Policies - Evidence from Norway and Finland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 10(6), pages 143-170, May.
    22. Butz, William P & Ward, Michael P, 1979. "The Emergence of Countercyclical U.S. Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 318-328, June.
    23. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    24. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2007. "Has Social Security Influenced Family Formation and Fertility in OECD Countries? An Economic and Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 12869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Evert Imhoff & Nico Keilman, 2000. "On the Quantum and Tempo of Fertility: Comment," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 549-553.
    27. Junsen Zhang & Jason Quan & Peter van Meerbergen, 1994. "The Effect of Tax-Transfer Policies on Fertility in Canada, 1921-88," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 181-201.
    28. Yongil Jeon & Michael P. Shields, 2005. "The Easterlin hypothesis in the recent experience of higher-income OECD countries: A panel-data approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, August.
    29. John Ermisch, 1988. "Econometric Analysis of Birth Rate Dynamics in Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 563-576.
    30. David Gruen & Matthew Garbutt, 2003. "The Output Implications of Higher Labour Force Participation," Treasury Working Papers 2003-02, The Treasury, Australian Government, revised Oct 2003.
    31. Barmby, T & Cigno, A, 1990. "A Sequential Probability Model of Fertility Patterns," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(1), pages 31-51, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gaitz, Jason & Schurer, Stefanie, 2017. "Bonus Skills: Examining the Effect of an Unconditional Cash Transfer on Child Human Capital Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 10525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility rate; australia's population; recuperation;

    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:prodsw:0806. 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: (MAPS). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/pcgovau.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.