Shelly Lundberg, Robert Pollak, 29 October 2013

Marriage patterns have changed in the last 50 years as fertility rates declined and cohabitation became more widespread. These trends can be explained by a shift in the gains from marriage away from specialisation and towards investment in children. This column argues that different patterns in childrearing are key to understanding class differences in marriage and parenthood. Heterogeneity in preferences for – or ability to invest in – child human capital explain marriage and fertility patterns across socioeconomic groups.

Simone Bertoli, Francesca Marchetta, 04 October 2013

Return migrants have major social and economic consequences for their countries of origin. This column uses Egyptian household-level data to analyse the effects of migrants returning from neighbouring Arab countries. Start-up firms by returnees are more likely to survive, and returnee families tend to have more children. These results imply that return migration may not be an unmitigated blessing for Egypt.

Sascha O. Becker, 13 January 2012

Sascha Becker of the University of Warwick talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research on the important role that formal education played in facilitating industrialisation in nineteenth century Prussia. They also discuss the relationship between education and fertility, and historical evidence in support of ‘unified growth theory’. The interview was recorded in August 2010.

Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Nicole Schneeweis, Margherita Fort, 05 January 2012

Demographic research typically reports negative correlations between schooling and fertility. But this column argues more education can lead to an increase in the number of children per woman. It uses data for more than 6000 individuals from eight European countries where compulsory schooling reforms took place between 1942 and 1967 and finds that one additional year of compulsory schooling increases the number of children by approximately 0.2 and the probability to remain childless by around ten percentage points.

Avraham Ebenstein, Moshe Hazan, Avi Simhon, 02 December 2011

For years, policymakers trying to influence the decisions of would-be parents have tried to change the ‘price’ of having children. In France they have made it cheaper; in China more expensive. This column looks at whether such policies are likely to have their desired effect. It examines unique evidence of a shock to the cost of having a child in Israeli communities between 1990 and 2000.

Moshe Hazan, Hosny Zoabi, 03 October 2011

What is the relationship between women's education, income, and family size? CEPR DP8590 presents new evidence from the US in support of the 'marketization hypothesis' -- that women's increased labour-force participation allows them to buy market services to raise their families. Highly educated American women substitute much of their own time with nannying and housekeeping services, which enables them to have more children and work longer hours.

Torben M Andersen, 06 January 2009

How will the shrinking labour force pay for the pensions and healthcare of the growing elderly? This column argues that linking retirement ages to longevity would alleviate a significant part of the deterioration in public finances and ensure that the burden of adjustment is carried by those gaining from increases in longevity.

Francesco Billari, Vincenzo Galasso, 07 November 2008

Economic theory views children as investment or consumption goods. Using Italian pension reforms as a natural experiment, this column find evidence that supports the “children as investment” view.

Francesco Billari, Vincenzo Galasso, 22 October 2008

Why are couples in industrialized societies having fewer children than they used to? Indeed, why are they deciding to have children at all? The authors of CEPR DP7014 seek to address these issues, focusing on the two main motives for childbearing often cited: children as a 'consumption' vs. an 'investment' good.

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Belgi Turan, Chinhui Juhn, 04 October 2008

Some have argued that HIV/AIDS might increase future per capita incomes in Africa by inducing population declines. This column presents new data showing that HIV/AIDS does little to reduce fertility rates amongst non-infected women. The disease, which devastates human capital accumulation, is very likely to lower future per capita incomes in Africa.

Vincenzo Galasso, Roberta Gatti, Paola Profeta, 12 May 2008

In traditional societies, old age support was guaranteed by intergenerational transfers within the family from young to old, but the weakening of family ties in modern societies has justified the introduction of social security systems, thus reducing the incentive to have children. The authors of CEPR DP6825 argue that pension generosity and development of capital markets are crucial to understand fertility decisions, as the role of children as a form of retirement saving for their parents is particularly strong in economies with limited or non-existent access to financial markets.

Emilia del Bono, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 25 February 2008

Over the last century careers or jobs that provide opportunities for promotion and advancement have become more desirable for females and labour market conditions that impede the establishment of stable careers early in their lives like unemployment, temporary jobs or involuntary turnover, may be reasons for a delay or even a permanent reduction in fertility. The authors of CEPR DP6719 explore how women’s fertility decisions are affected by these considerations and find that certain stages of their careers might be particularly sensitive to labour supply interruptions.

José Tavares, Tiago Cavalcanti, 01 October 2007

The authors of CEPR DP6477 believe that it is important to provide a model-based macroeconomic estimate for the cost of wage discrimination to aggregate output. They find that the costs are indeed quite substantial which should be a certain concern in any macroeconomic policy aimed at increasing output per capita in the long-run.



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