• Corpus ID: 142698364

An Interpretation of the Economic Theory of Fertility: Promising Path or Blind Alley?

  title={An Interpretation of the Economic Theory of Fertility: Promising Path or Blind Alley?},
  author={Harvey Leibenstein},
  journal={Journal of Economic Literature},
  • H. Leibenstein
  • Published 1 June 1974
  • Economics
  • Journal of Economic Literature
Some economists are doing research in applying Hicksian microtheory to explain the fertility behavior of man and fertility differentials. This article considers some highlights of the problem to serve for further reading. In reviewing the recent economic sociological and population theories there are 1) the theory of demographic transition which depends heavily on the reduction of desired fertility 2) Leibensteins 1957 theory of fertility which addressed itself primarily to the question and… 
Toward a more general economic model of fertility determination: endogenous preferences and natural fertility.
This essay formally presents the 1976 Pennsylvania school economic model of fertility behavior. It is suggested as an alternative to the "Chicago-Columbia" approach that dominates the current work on
The Economics of the Family and Its Policy Implications: Why Should We Care About Fertility Outcomes?
This paper reviews potential explanations of the continued fertility decline in developed countries that are provided by the economic theory of the family and discusses their implications regarding
Testing for a possible non-linear relationship between income and fertility implied in the theory of demographic transition: the U.S. case, 1909-1957.
Human fertility has been a subject of intensive study by scholars from a variety of academic disciplines. In recent years economists have been studying human fertility within an economic decision
An economic framework for fertility analysis.
This more comprehensive framework is compared with the usual approach in the analysis of several empirical problems-non-marital fertility, premodern fertility fluctuations and differentials, and the secular fertility decline-and is shown to be better suited for incorporating the concepts and hypotheses of noneconomists along with those of economists.
Single equation models of fertility behavior are frequently subject to specification error and often fail to capture the dynamic nature of household decision-making. This paper takes a first step in
Children Are Costly, but Raising Them May Pay: The Economic Approach to Fertility
AbstractOBJECTIVEThis article provides a non-technical introduction to analyses of fertility which are based on a rational-choice paradigm and which acknowledge that raising children may have a
Science without laws? Model building, micro histories and the fate of the theory of fertility decline
The present article takes stock of older and new est research on fertility decline in order to determine the present perspective of historical demography. By referring to different approaches to the
Fertility Interactions and Modernization Turning Points
In this paper we estimate an interaction model of fertility and economic development which directly incorporates into the fertility decision the taste changes and variations in fertility control
A large body of research and theory seeking to explain fertility levels in less developed nations has stressed the effects of economic development on family-level decision making. While clearly a
The economics of the reproduction 'crisis' in transition Europe : the effect of shifts in values, income and uncertainty (with special reference to Russia)
This thesis investigates the causes for the abrupt, universal and virtually unprecedented decline in the total fertility rate in transition Europe. Using evidence from Russia, it tests two competing


Are babies consumer durables? A critique of the economic theory of reproductive motivation.
An economist (Gary Becker) argues that the economic theory of demand for consumer durables can be applied to the analysis of reproductive motivation. Since he says under modern conditions the desire
Economic considerations in family growth decisions.
Abstract Examination of the fertility patterns of a sample of white Detroit couples at selected stages of the family life cycle indicates that, in a large American metropolis, family income is more
Population growth and economic welfare.
A summary of the recent economic literature on birth reductions is presented. Any proposed course of action which involves the use of scarce resources has an economic aspect and requires a balancing
The American baby boom in historical perspective
At the risk of generalizing too freely it would probably be fair to say that the typical treatment of population growth in economic theories is as an exogenous variable whose movement is given by
An Economic Analysis of Fertility
THE inability of demographers to predict western birth rates accurately in the postwar period has had a salutary influence on demographic research. Most predictions had been based either on simple
Factors involved in the decline of fertility in Spain, 1900-1950
Summary A statistical analysis is made of the social and economic characteristics associated with the decline of marital fertility in Spain, variables examined on a provincial basis are marriage
An economic model of family planning and fertility.
An economic model of family planning is presented and used to explain differences in birthrates among 75 Puerto Rican municipalities from 1951-1957. Beginning with the preferences of parents for
Trends in class fertility in western nations
of the nineteenth century, the decline has not been equal among the various groups that compose their population. Measures of fertility for national units conceal differences in the fertility of the
Mortality, marriage, and growth in pre-industrial populations
Abstract It has been widely assumed that in pre-industrial European populations postponement of marriage was a major check on fertility, and that marriage was contingent upon access to a livelihood
A Quantitative Study of Social and Political Determinants of Fertility
The presence of a significant relationship between fertility rates and socio-political environment is well known; however, precise indications of the magnitudes involved have been lacking. In this