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"Keeping up with the Joneses" and fertility choice

Ratbek Dzhumashev () and Ainura Tursunalieva

No 30-16, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper analyses how "keeping-up-with-the-Joneses" (KUJ) preferences affect fertility choice, and aims to explain patterns in fertility which are inconsistent with existing theories. In the developed model, KUJ preferences are defined over three contemporaneous factors: average consumption, fertility rate, and human capital in society. The extended model shows that implications of KUJ preferences on fertility choice well agree with the patterns in fertility data. This paper tests the fertility choice implications of KUJ preferences using fertility survey data from the United States. The empirical results support the predictions of the theoretical model.

Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2016-11
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