Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

Highlights

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Martha J. Bailey photo

Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish

Publication Abstract

Bailey, Martha J., and William J. Collins. 2011. "Did Improvements in Household Technology Cause the Baby Boom? Evidence from Electrification, Appliance Diffusion, and the Amish." American Economic Journal-Macroeconomics, 3(2): 189-217.

We examine the hypothesis that advances in household technology caused the US baby boom, and we find no support for this claim. Advances in household technology occurred before the baby boom, while fertility declined. From 1940 to 1960, levels/changes in county-level appliance ownership and electrification negatively predict levels/changes in fertility rates. Exposure to electricity in early adulthood and children-ever-born are negatively correlated for the relevant cohorts. The Amish, who used modern technologies much less than other US households, experienced a coincident baby boom. This evidence can be reconciled with economic theory if other home-produced goods are substitutes with children.

DOI:10.1257/mac.3.2.189 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next