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Will US Fertility Remain Low? A New Economic Interpretation

William P. Butz and Michael P. Ward
Population and Development Review
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 663-688
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1971976
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1971976
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Will US Fertility Remain Low? A New Economic Interpretation
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Abstract

The total fertility rate is partitioned into two period components: one reflects fertility timing and the other measures the average completed fertility of women currently in their childbearing years. Using fertility predictions generated by an economic model, the US total fertility rate is decomposed into these two elements. The results are compared with published data on women's reported fertility expectations. The conclusions are that annual movements in period fertility rates are dominated by timing considerations; that couples have recently concentrated their births into recession periods, during which the cost of women's time is low; and that fertility rates are likely to remain low.

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