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Fertility and Childlessness in the United States

Thomas Baudin (), David de la Croix () and Paula Gobbi

American Economic Review, 2015, vol. 105, issue 6, 1852-82

Abstract: We develop a theory of fertility, distinguishing its intensive margin from its extensive margin. The deep parameters are identified using facts from the 1990 US Census: (i) fertility of mothers decreases with education; (ii) childlessness exhibits a U-shaped relationship with education; (iii) the relationship between marriage rates and education is hump-shaped for women and increasing for men. We estimate that 2.5 percent of women were childless because of poverty and 8.1 percent because of high opportunity cost of childrearing. Over time, historical trends in total factor productivity and in education led to a U-shaped response in childlessness rates while fertility of mothers decreased. (JEL I20, J13, J16, N31, N32)

JEL-codes: I20 J13 J16 N31 N32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120926
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Working Paper: Fertility and childlessness in the United States (2015)
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Working Paper: DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, Fertility and Childlessness in the United States (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, Fertility and Childlessness in the United States (2012) Downloads
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