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The Economics of Fertility: A New Era

Matthias Doepke (), Anne Hannusch (), Fabian Kindermann and Michele Tertilt ()
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Anne Hannusch: University of Mannheim

No 2022-012, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: In this survey, we argue that the economic analysis of fertility has entered a new era. First-generation models of fertility choice were designed to account for two empirical regularities that, in the past, held both across countries and across families in a given country: a negative relationship between income and fertility, and another negative relationship between women's labor force participation and fertility. The economics of fertility has entered a new era because these stylized facts no longer universally hold. In high-income countries, the income-fertility relationship has flattened and in some cases reversed, and the cross-country relationship between women's labor force participation and fertility is now positive. We summarize these new facts and describe new models that are designed to address them. The common theme of these new theories is that they view factors that determine the compatibility of women's career and family goals as key drivers of fertility. We highlight four factors that facilitate combining a career with a family: family policy, cooperative fathers, favorable social norms, and flexible labor markets. We also review other recent developments in the literature, and we point out promising new directions for future research on the economics of fertility.

Keywords: cross-country analysis; women's careers; family policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 J13 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-evo and nep-lab
Note: FI, M
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Doepke ... ertility-new-era.pdf First version, April 2022 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Economics of Fertility: A New Era (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economics of Fertility: A New Era (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economics of Fertility: A New Era (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economics of Fertility: A New Era (2022) Downloads
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