Can Theory Explain the Evidence on Fertility Decline Reversal?

10 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2016

See all articles by Creina Day

Creina Day

Australian National University

Date Written: June 2016


This article presents a model of household fertility and child‐rearing choice in which rising female relative wages is the mechanism whereby economic growth may reverse fertility decline. I find that an increase in the logarithm, rather than the level, of wages affects fertility at advanced stages of development. Economic growth may reverse fertility decline beyond a threshold logarithm per capita output, which depends on child‐care prices, maternity pay, preference for children and growth in female wages relative to male wages. These results inform the recent empirical debate and identify cross‐country differences as important considerations for future empirical research.

Suggested Citation

Day, Creina, Can Theory Explain the Evidence on Fertility Decline Reversal? (June 2016). Australian Economic Review, Vol. 49, Issue 2, pp. 136-145, 2016. Available at SSRN: or

Creina Day (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200

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