The Influence of the Year of the Dragon on Fertility of Chinese Malaysians: Cointegration and Variance Decomposition Analysis
27 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 14, 2012
Despite the downward trend in fertility amongst the Chinese Malaysians, temporary fertility increases are noted in the Dragon years of 1976, 1988 and 2000. The paper therefore examines whether fertility is significantly influenced by zodiacal preferences, mainly the Year of the Dragon, for the Chinese Malaysians, a non-majority group within a mulicultural society. The methodology employed is based on a cointegration and error-correction framework, followed by a variance decomposition technique to capture both within-sample and out-of sample relationships between fertility and zodiacal preferences. Using a fully-fledged model of the determinants of fertility for the period 1974-2009, it is found that the Year of the Dragon significantly increases the Chinese fertility rate in the long-run. The portion of the variance in the fertility rate explained by a shock in the Year of the Dragon is likewise found to be substantial relative to the explained variation in the former following shocks in the other explanatory variables. Broadly speaking, there is some empirical regularity in the Dragon Year phenomenon based on the Malaysian case and studies of different Chinese populations. Zodiacal fertility behaviour appears a distinctive ethnic marker in that; it is no longer limited only to that of ethnic Chinese dominated societies.
Keywords: fertility, Chinese, Chinese zodiac, Dragon Year, cointegration, variance decomposition, Malaysia
JEL Classification: J13, C22, C52
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