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A ROLE FOR CULTURAL TRANSMISSION IN FERTILITY TRANSITIONS

  • Thomas Baudin (a1)
Abstract

Cultural variables in economic analysis have recently experienced a strong renewal. This evolution sheds a new light on the old debate between the “Beckerian model” of fertility and the “synthesis model” of fertility. In this paper, I propose a fertility model making the evolution of culture endogenous. The whole population is divided into two cultures corresponding to specific preferences for fertility. Parents decide their fertility rate and try to transmit their culture to their children. Differential fertility between cultures gives rise to an evolutionary process while differential effort to transmit the parental culture gives rise to a cultural process. The long-run distribution of preferences and the average total fertility rate both result from interactions between these processes. As a result, a fertility transition cannot appear without productivity shocks in favor of the culture that is not biased toward quantity of children. However, asymmetric productivity shocks are not always sufficient to cause a fertility transition.

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Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Thomas Baudin, Bureau b.117, Voie du Roman Pays 34, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; e-mail: thomas.baudin@uclouvain.be.
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Macroeconomic Dynamics
  • ISSN: 1365-1005
  • EISSN: 1469-8056
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