Fertility and Housing
21 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 2015
Young households in Hong Kong face particularly steep increases in house prices and low fertility despite low gender wage gaps. The model of fertility and housing in this paper explains why fertility decline need not reverse as female wages rise relative to male wages where housing land is scarce. For given house prices, demand for children may rise with female relative wages if housing comprises a sufficiently large share of childrearing. If the user cost of housing falls with rising house prices then fertility also rises. For endogenous house prices, however, growth in wages and a burgeoning working age population raises the market price of housing. In turn, fertility no longer rises with female relative wages. The analysis provides a novel mechanism whereby high population support ratios depress fertility and the results fit recent evidence that house prices affect fertility.
Keywords: fertility, housing price, gender wages, working age population
JEL Classification: J10, J13, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation