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An Investigation Into the Economic Determinants of Fertility


Robert Allen Kohl

The purpose of this study is to identify those economic factors that are most relevant to the decision of optimum family size.
Using techniques pioneered by Gary S. Becker and his associates at Chicago, the author constructs a model of family welfare maximization, in which satisfaction is derived from Child Services and Living Standard.
Given changes in such factors as family status, urbanization, parents' education and combined income, he proceeds to identify traditional income and substitution effects, effects resulting from shifts in preference patterns, and finally, effects attributable to various stochastic factors.
The model is tested using cross-sectional data (county) from three U.S. regions at various stages of economic progress in 1970. In this way, the importance of economic factors in planning family size can be ascertained.
Contents: A review of the literature relevant to this area is provided in chapters 1,2 and 3 - The theoretical model is constructed in Chapter 4, and tested empirically in Chapters 5 & 6. A Summary and general conclusions are then set down in Chapter 7.