Advertisement

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 235–275 | Cite as

The third birth in Sweden

  • James J. Heckman
  • James R. Walker
Article

Abstract

This paper considers the formulation, estimation and interpretation of microdynamic models of fertility. Our model explains parity choices, sterility, childlessness, interbirth intervals and initiation of pregnancy within a unified framework. We develop a general methodology for estimating the determinants of transition times to births of different orders. Our procedure incorporates time-varying explanatory variables and unobservables. We present conditions that justify conventional formulae relating hazards to survivor functions when time-varying variables enter hazards. We also consider the validity of widely-used piecemeal estimation strategies that focus on one birth at a time. We consider methods for selecting a best model among a class of non-nested models. Two criteria are set forth and used to evaluate the detminants of third births in Sweden.

We find that two models fit Swedish microdata equally well. One model is consistent with neoclassical economic theory. It assigns a central role to the wages of men and women in explaining the timing and spacing of births. The other model is purely demographic and excludes wages. Purely statistical criteria cannot distinguish these models although in other work we show that the economic models are more parsimonious in terms of the number of parameters that must be estimated and are better able to forecast aggregate time series.

We demonstrate how to interpret the output of multistate fertility models. Wage effects on third births are decomposed into two components: (a) an in direct effect that determines whether a woman is at risk to have a third birth, and (b) a direct effect on the transition rate to the third birth given that a woman has had two births. We find that female wages play an important role in postponing first births but play only a minor role in explaining childlessness. Female wages substantially affect third births. Male wage effects are weaker. We find that female wage effects weaken for more recent cohorts of women. This evidence is consistent with the introduction of progressively more pronatal Swedish policies.

Keywords

Transition Rate Unify Framework General Methodology Fertility Model Recent Cohort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bjorklund A (1966) Assessing the decline of wage dispersion in Sweden. IUI, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  2. Bongaarts J, Potter RG (1983) Fertility, biology and behavior. New York, Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Brass W (1958) The distribution of births in human populations. Popul Stud 12(1):51–72Google Scholar
  4. Chamberlain G (1985) Heterogeneity, omitted variables bias and duration dependence. In: Heckman J, Singer B (eds) Longitudinal analysis of labor market data. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 3–38Google Scholar
  5. Cox DR (1962) Further results on tests of separate families of hypotheses. J R Statist Soc Ser B 24(2):406–424Google Scholar
  6. Elbers C, Ridder G (1982) True and spurious duration dependence: the identifiability of the proportional hazard model. Rev Econ Stud 49(3):403–410Google Scholar
  7. Feinstone L (1984) Intra-daily market efficiency and price processes in the future market in foreign exchange. Unpublished Ph D dissertation, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  8. Flanagan R (1986) Efficiency and equality in Swedish labor markets. In: Bosworth BP, Rivlin AM (eds) The Swedish economy. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, pp 125–185Google Scholar
  9. Flinn C, Heckman J (1982) Models for the analysis of labor force dynamics. In. Rhodes G, Basmann R (eds) Advances in econometrics. JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, pp 65–95Google Scholar
  10. Flinn C, Heckman (1983) The likelihood-function for the multistate-multiepisode model in models for the analysis of labor force dynamics. In: Bassman R, Rhodes G (eds) Advances in econometrics, vol 3. JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, pp 225–231Google Scholar
  11. Gini C (1924) Premiers recherches sur la fécondabilité de la femme. Proceedings of International Mathematics Congress, vol 2, pp 889–992Google Scholar
  12. Gladh L, Gustafsson S (1981) Labor market policy related to women and employment in Sweden. The swedish country report to the conference on regulation theory of the labor market related to women: International comparison of labor market policy related to women: IIMVP/LMP, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  13. Heckman J (1984) The χ2 goodness of fit statistics for models with parameters estimated from microdata. Econometrica 52(6):1543–1547Google Scholar
  14. Heckman J, Sedlacek G (1985) Heterogeneity, aggregation, and market wage functions: An empirical analysis of self-selection in the labor market. J Polit Econ 93:1077–1125Google Scholar
  15. Heckman J, Singer B (1984) A method for minimizing the impact of distributional assumptions in econometric models for duration data. Econometrica 52:271–320Google Scholar
  16. Heckman J, Singer B (1985) Social science duration analysis. In: Heckman J, Singer B (eds) Longitudinal analysis of labor market data. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 39–110Google Scholar
  17. Heckman J, Walker J (1987a) Using goodness of fit and other criteria to choose among competing duration models: A case study of Hutterite data. In: Clogg C (ed) Sociological methodology, 1987. American Sociological Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Heckman J, Walker J (1990a) Economic model of fertility dynamics: A study of Swedish fertility. In: Schultz P (ed) Research in population economics, vol 7. JAI Press, Greenwich, CT (in press)Google Scholar
  19. Heckman J, Walker J (1990b) The relationship between wages and income and the timing and spacing of births: Evidence from Swedish longitudinal data. Econometrica (in press)Google Scholar
  20. Heckman J, Walker J (1990c) Estimating fecundability from data on waiting time to first conception. J Am Statist Assoc 85(410):283–294Google Scholar
  21. Heckman J, Hotz J, Walker J (1985) New evidence on the timing and spacing of births. Am Econ Rev 75(2):179–184Google Scholar
  22. Hoem J (1985) Weighting, misclassification and other issues in the analysis of survey samples of life histories. In: Heckman J, Singer B (eds) Longitudinal analysis of labor market data. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 249–293Google Scholar
  23. Hoem J, Rennermalm B (1985) Modern family initiation in Sweden: Experience of women born between 1936 and 1960. Eur J Popul 1(1):81–112Google Scholar
  24. Honoré B (1987) Identification and estimation of econometric duration models. Unpublished Ph D dissertation, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  25. Menken J (1975) Estimating fecundability. Unpublished Ph D Thesis, Department of Sociology, Princeton UniversityGoogle Scholar
  26. Rodriguez G et al. (1984) A comparative analysis of the determinants of birth intervals. Comparative Studies, No 30. World Fertility Survey, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Schwarz G (1978) Estimating the dimension of a model. Ann Statist 6(2):461–464Google Scholar
  28. Sheps M (1965) An analysis of reproductive patterns in an American isolate. Popul Stud 19(1):65–80Google Scholar
  29. Sheps M, Menken J (1973) Mathematical models of conception and birth. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  30. Walker J (1986) The timing and spacing of births in Sweden. Unpublished Ph D Thesis, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilkinson M (1973) An econometric analysis of fertility in Sweden, 1870–1965. Econometrica 41(4):633–642Google Scholar
  32. Yashin A, Arjas E (1988) A note on random intensities and conditional survivor functions. J Appl Probab 25:630–635Google Scholar
  33. Yi KM, Walker J, Honoré B (1987) CTM: A user's guide. Unpublished manuscript. NORC, University of ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  34. Ermisch J (1988) Economic influences on birth rates. Natl Inst Econ Rev 7:71–81Google Scholar
  35. Groot W, Pott-Buter, Hettie A (1990) The timing of maternity in the Netherlands. Research Memorandum 9007, Department of Economics, University of AmsterdamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • James J. Heckman
    • 1
  • James R. Walker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations