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Fertility and Social InteractionAn Economic Perspective$
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Hans-Peter Kohler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199244596.001.0001

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From Individual Behavior to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics

From Individual Behavior to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics

Chapter:
(p.93) 4 From Individual Behavior to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics
Source:
Fertility and Social Interaction
Author(s):

Hans‐Peter Kohler (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199244596.003.0004

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

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