From Individual Behavior to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics

Hans‐Peter Kohler

in Fertility and Social Interaction

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244591
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596544 | DOI:
 From Individual Behavior to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics

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Shifts the emphasis from individual behaviour in the presence of social interactions to aggregate fertility dynamics. In particular, the chapter considers the implications of using non‐linear models in empirical and theoretical models of social interactions and fertility. We show that with non‐linear models, there may be both low and high contraceptive‐use equilibria rather than just one equilibrium as in linear models. A sustained fertility decline can occur if a population experiences a transition from a low to a high contraceptive‐use equilibrium. These transitions occur at a rapid pace—consistent with the empirical findings on past and present fertility declines—and they are often irreversible once they are initiated.

Keywords: feedback effects; fertility decline; linear models; multiple equilibria; non‐linear models; social interaction

Chapter.  6129 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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