Explaining Movements in Completed Fertility Across Cohorts
29 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2004 Last revised: 29 Mar 2021
Date Written: July 1978
A life cycle model of fertility based on the quantity-quality model of fertility successfully explains changes in completed fertility in a period in which completed fertility first fell and then rose. This model furthermore accurately predicts the timing and level of the subsequent peak in completed fertility. Regressions based on Easterlin's relative economic status theory of fertility are less successful in predicting fertility over a fifteen year period than regressions based on the quantity-quality model. Upon investigation, much of the increase in completed fertility associated with the baby boom appears to be primarily attributable to sporadic wage growth.
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