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Is there a fertility paradox in Denmark?

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  • Jørgen T. Lauridsen

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Abstract

Alike most of the Western world, the Danish fertility rate declined throughout the 20th century simultaneous to economic growth. This development, which conflicts with economic intuition, has been denoted the fertility paradox, and several studies have been devoted to resolve it. The present study analyzes the geographic variation across Danish municipalities in the fertility rate during the years 1982 to 2004. Several factors commonly believed to explain the variation in the fertility rate is found to be exerted to considerable regional variation. A model linking the fertility rate to several economic determinants is established and further modified to capture geographic small-area variation. A positive correlation between regional levels of income and fertility is found, which contradicts the fertility paradox. Thus, the necessity of separating small-area and dynamic variation, aiming at obtain a proper interpretation of the link between fertility and its determinants, is demonstrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Jørgen T. Lauridsen, 2015. "Is there a fertility paradox in Denmark?," ERSA conference papers ersa15p50, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p50
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa15/e150825aFinal00050.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harvey S. James Jr., 1996. "The Impact of Female Employment on the Likelihood and Timing of Second and Higher Order Pregnancies," Labor and Demography 9612002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
    3. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
    4. Christian Siegel, 2012. "Female Employment and Fertility - The Effects of Rising Female Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp1156, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Joshua R. Goldstein & Sebastian Klüsener, 2014. "Spatial Analysis of the Causes of Fertility Decline in Prussia," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(3), pages 497-525, September.
    6. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1984. "An Estimable Dynamic Stochastic Model of Fertility and Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 852-874, October.
    7. Krister Sandberg & Thomas Westerberg, 2005. "Spatial Dependence and the Determinants of Child Births in Swedish Municipalities 1974-2002," ERSA conference papers ersa05p431, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Robert Moffitt, 1984. "Profiles of Fertility, Labour Supply and Wages of Married Women: A Complete Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 263-278.
    9. Weiren Wang & Felix Famoye, 1997. "Modeling household fertility decisions with generalized Poisson regression," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(3), pages 273-283.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Spatial econometrics; Demography; Fertility; Regional population variation;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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