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Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience

  • Raquel Fernandez
  • Alessandra Fogli

This paper attempts to disentangle the direct effects of experience from those of culture in determining fertility. We use the GSS to examine the fertility of women born in the US but from different ethnic backgrounds. We take lagged values of the total fertility rate in the woman's country of ancestry as the cultural proxy and use the woman's number of siblings to capture her direct family experience. We find that both variables are significant determinants of fertility, even after controlling for several individual and family-level characteristics. (JEL: J13, J16, Z10) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

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Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 05-14.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:05-14
Contact details of provider: Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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  1. Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000466, David K. Levine.
  2. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "People's opium? Religion and economic attitudes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 225-282, January.
  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. Gjerde, Jon & McCants, Anne, 1995. "Fertility, Marriage, and Culture: Demographic Processes Among Norwegian Immigrants to the Rural Middle West," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 860-888, December.
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