NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Explaining Movements in Completed Fertility Across Cohorts

Lawrence W. Kenny

NBER Working Paper No. 270
Issued in July 1978

A life cycle model of fertility based on the quantity-quality model of fertility successfully explains changes in completed fertility in a period in which completed fertility first fell and then rose. This model furthermore accurately predicts the timing and level of the subsequent peak in completed fertility. Regressions based on Easterlin's relative economic status theory of fertility are less successful in predicting fertility over a fifteen year period than regressions based on the quantity-quality model. Upon investigation, much of the increase in completed fertility associated with the baby boom appears to be primarily attributable to sporadic wage growth.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0270

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