NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Giuseppe Ragusa

LUISS Guido Carli University
Viale Pola 12, 00198 Roma, Italia

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2012From Empty Pews to Empty Cradles: Fertility Decline Among European Catholics
with Eli Berman, Laurence R. Iannaccone: w18350
Catholic countries of Europe pose a demographic puzzle -fertility is unprecedentedly low (total fertility=1.3) despite low female labor force participation. We model three channels of religious effects on demand for children: through changing norms, reduced market wages, and reduced costs of childrearing. We estimate their effects using new panel data on church attendance and clergy employment for thirteen European countries from 1960-2000, spanning the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Catholic theology is uniform across countries. Yet service varied considerably across countries and over time, especially before the Council, reflecting differences in Church provision of education, health, welfare and other social services. We use differential declines in service provision --measured by nu...
 
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