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The US fertility transition in the nineteenth century is unusual. Not only did it start from a very high fertility level and very early in the nation’s development, but it…
The US fertility transition in the nineteenth century is unusual. Not only did it start from a very high fertility level and very early in the nation’s development, but it also took place long before the nation’s mortality transition, industrialization, and urbanization. This paper assembles new county-level, household-level, and individual-level data, including new complete-count IPUMS microdata databases of the 1830–1880 censuses, to evaluate different theories for the nineteenth-century American fertility transition. We construct cross-sectional models of net fertility for currently-married white couples in census years 1830–1880 and test the results with a subset of couples linked between the 1850–1860, 1860–1870, and 1870–1880 censuses. We find evidence of marital fertility control consistent with hypotheses as early as 1830. The results indicate support for several different but complementary theories of the early US fertility decline, including the land availability, conventional structuralist, ideational, child demand/quality-quantity tradeoff, and life cycle savings theories.
This paper addresses revolutionary changes in the education, fertility and market work of U.S. families formed in the 1870s–1920s: Fertility fell from 5.3 to 2.6; the…
This paper addresses revolutionary changes in the education, fertility and market work of U.S. families formed in the 1870s–1920s: Fertility fell from 5.3 to 2.6; the graduation rate of their children increased from 7% to 50%; and the fraction of adulthood wives devoted to market-oriented work increased from 7% to 23% (by one measure).
These trends are addressed within a unified framework to examine the ability of several proposed mechanisms to quantitatively replicate these changes. Based on careful calibration, the choices of successive generations of representative husband-and-wife households over the quantity and quality of their children, household production, and the extent of mother’s involvement in market-oriented production are simulated.
Rising wages, declining mortality, a declining gender wage gap, and increased efficiency and public provision of schooling cannot, individually or in combination, reduce fertility or increase stocks of human capital to levels seen in the data. The best fit of the model to the data also involves: (1) a decreased tendency among parents to view potential earnings of children as the property of parents and (2) rising consumption shares per dependent child.
Greater attention should be given the determinants of parental control of the work and earnings of children for this period.
One contribution is the gathering of information and strategies necessary to establish an initial baseline, and the time paths for parameters and targets for this period beset with data limitations. A second contribution is identifying the contributions of various mechanisms toward reaching those calibration targets.
The extremely low fertility of European society is today one of the most important policy and scientific topics due to its adverse effect on increasing aging of the…
The extremely low fertility of European society is today one of the most important policy and scientific topics due to its adverse effect on increasing aging of the population. Since extant research has evidenced a huge complexity of below replacement fertility, it cannot be satisfactorily explained on the basis of a single pattern. Each country can therefore contribute through specific case studies to a better overall understanding of this phenomenon. This chapter presents the results of research into the fertility behavior of farm population, the group with the highest fertility rate in Slovenia. They reveal that the fertility of farm population is not based on a higher respect for family norms and related values, as some critics of contemporary life patterns of the young generation might suppose. The results indicate that it is more probable that motivation for a higher number of children among the farm population derives from their social context; the specific social relations of ‘gift exchange’ that help to maintain the particular nature of ensuring their everyday livelihoods.
This chapter introduces demographic variables in empirical regression to help find whether demographic changes have an impact on economic growth. There is evidence from…
This chapter introduces demographic variables in empirical regression to help find whether demographic changes have an impact on economic growth. There is evidence from estimated values in this chapter to suggest that there is no impact that demographic changes in Hong Kong is affecting the economic growth. The population growth has purely a transition impact where the fertility rate was low in early 2000 up to 2015 as the size of the dependency ratio increases. Besides testing demographic variables the government emphasises better education for all people of ages for prosperous growth but in fact has a negative response on educational investment on the growth of the economy. A well-educated country individual does not suggest a higher productivity in economy growth. An important implication is that there has been no single variable as yet that has seriously impacted the economy growth, but there will be changes in the coming years and has to be attended in result to avoid a diminishing economy.
Purpose – Using elective egg and sperm freezing as a case to compare representations of men and women as agents of biological reproduction, this chapter aims to understand…
Purpose – Using elective egg and sperm freezing as a case to compare representations of men and women as agents of biological reproduction, this chapter aims to understand how gender and risk are co-produced in the context of new reproductive technologies (NRTs).
Methodology – Through a content analysis of newspaper articles published between 1980 and 2016 about egg and sperm freezing, the author traces how fertility risks facing men and women are portrayed in the media.
Findings – Candidates for egg freezing were portrayed in one of the three ways: as cancer patients, career women, or single and waiting for a partner. The ideal users of sperm freezing are depicted in primarily two ways: as cancer patients and as employees in professions with hazardous working conditions. Threats to future fertility for women pursuing careers uninterrupted by pregnancy and child-rearing and women seeking romantic partners are largely portrayed as the result of internal risks. However, threats to future fertility for men working in dangerous professions are largely portrayed as external to them.
Research Limitations – Race and class did not emerge as dominant themes in these data; given the lack of accessibility to NRTs by class and race, this silence must be interrogated by further research.
Value – By comparing the constructions of at-risk groups, the author argues the medicalization of reproduction is gendered as fertility risks portrayed in the media take on a different character between men and women. This research shows how the gendered construction of infertility risk reinforces normative expectations around child-rearing and perpetuates gender inequity in parenting norms.
Despite some decline, most Sub Saharan African countries still exhibit very high levels of fertility, resulting in the lengthening of the phase of strong population…
Despite some decline, most Sub Saharan African countries still exhibit very high levels of fertility, resulting in the lengthening of the phase of strong population growth. Using Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data collected over a pooled sample of more than 430,000 married women living in 33 countries, the author examines the relationship between empowerment and desired fertility. The author constructs six different proxies of empowerment: two “objective” proxies (education and labor force participation), three “subjective” proxies (say in household decisions, non-acceptance of domestic violence, and no son preference), and a “relative” proxy (small spousal age difference). The author first shows that these six dimensions are related with one another and highly variable from one country to another across the region. the author then explores the relationship of these dimensions with desired fertility at the individual level. On the pooled sample, the author find that there is a strong and negative relationship between all six dimensions of empowerment and desired fertility: in other words, women who have a low degree of empowerment tend to want a higher number of children. This result still holds when taking into account country fixed-effects to account for country-level characteristics. However, when examining more closely the relationship at the country level, the author finds that there is some variation on the strength of the relationship and that its sign is reversed for some indicators in some countries. Lastly, the author finds that local context matters which suggests that empowerment policies should address both the individual and collective dimensions of empowerment.