This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Becker's Theory Of Fertility Essay

1706 words - 7 pages

Introduction
The birth rate for the United States dropped 2 percent in 2008. This puts the US birth rate slightly the replacement level of fertility, 2.1 births per women. While some people express concern about the possibility of a decreasing population, others celebrate the large decrease in teen pregnancy. Preliminary analysis points to the slow economy as the reason behind the falling birthrate. While there seems to be a correlation between recession and lower birthrates this does not prove a causal link. To prove causation a theory must be proposed.
The Value of Time (VOT) theory of fertility developed by Gary Becker states that demand for children is determined by the value of time of the wife in a family. Over time extensive amounts of evidence has been gathered supporting this theory. For example, household surveys show a negative correlation between wages earned by wives and number of children. And, if we assume that wives are the sole providers of care for children, evidence collected showing positive correlation between husband's wages and number of children also supports Becker's theory. However, contrary to Becker's theory, recent trends show that women with lower wages due to the current recession are putting off childbirth while women with higher wages are having children (Stein, 2010). Given this discrepancy between historical data confirming and current data disproving Becker's theory new studies should consider performing an in-depth evaluation of the theory.
The model relies on many assumptions which can change in practicality depending on the economy, culture, and family structure in the country it is being applied to. This paper evaluated the validity of Becker's assumptions through analysis of data on time spent performing childcare activities in the United States. Beyond simple evaluation of Becker's assumptions further studies can take this paper's analysis and determine how emphasis in time spent on different childcare activities' effect on return on investment in children. Finally the combination of these studies can be used to create a more robust fertility model that takes into current parenting trends.
Methodology
The primary source of data used for this paper comes from the 2008 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) conducted by the Berea of Labor Statistics. Subjects for the ATUS are randomly selected from a household who has completed the eight month Current Population Survey (CPS). The complete ATUS dataset includes information gathered from over 85,000 interviews between 2003 and 2008. The population of respondents is compared to the national population and each respondent is then weighted to create a nationally representative sample.
Raw data for ATUS comes in the form of time logs that subjects are asked to create. The logs contain a recording of everything the subject did on the previous day, how long they performed the activity for, who they performed the activity with, and where the activity was...

Find Another Essay On Becker's Theory of Fertility

Juvenile Delinquency and The Bling Side

1528 words - 7 pages ("The Blind Side (2009) - Plot Summary.") the teachers talk about how Michael was pushed through all of his classes in his previous schools and that there is no way he can do the work in their school. They are labeling him as being too stupid. This is labeling theory; “Howard Becker developed this theory (also known as social reaction theory) in the 1963 book Outsiders”. (Howard Becker's Labeling Theory) The definition of labeling theory is the

A Reassessment of the !Kung San

1102 words - 4 pages body fat required for the onset of menarche and maintenance of reproductive function, seems inconclusive in the evaluation of this theory (Bentley 1984: 98). According to Bentley, there is not any substantial evidence that indicates the cause of low fertility among the !Kung. Bentley proposes that a correlation exist between energetics, endocrine function, and fecundity; physiological mechanisms are of great importance in understanding

Marriage and Fertility

2830 words - 12 pages referred to as the demographic revolution. Upon initial review of this revolution, it would seem as though it followed the demographic transition theory. That is, high mortality and fertility rates to begin with, followed by a fall in mortality and fertility falling second. According to reconstruction theories though, this demographic transition theory does not hold for Britain. Furthermore, it was known that death rates were not only high but

Labor economics - White collar discrimination from the movie "Philadelphia"

943 words - 4 pages taste discrimination."(Borjas p358) This theory implies that firms have a degree of distaste for different segments of society. In addition, using Becker's model you can assign a value to the level of distaste with the following equation.wB(1+d) < wWThe letter w indicates the wage paid to the individual while the letter d is the level of distaste towards the individual. The letter B is a dummy variable describing an individual in Borjas model it

criminology theories

1574 words - 7 pages consequences of outcast status. Deviant behavior can be defined as a different behaviour then the normal. Becker's theory (see, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, 1963) does not deal with the question why a person becomes a criminal but tells why society labels some people as criminals or deviants. Howard Becker (1963) developed his theory of labelling (also known as social reaction theory) on the assumption that people are likely to engage

The Declining Population in Europe and the Decline of the Family

2532 words - 10 pages In recent years it has become evident that the population of Europe is falling at a rate that could become problematic. This problem is contradictory to the idea of a population explosion promoted by the book “The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich which decries the rapid growth of the earth’s population as problematic for the environment and for quality of life. The decline of fertility points to a view of children that is particularly troubling

Women Empowerment as a Means of Population Control

2207 words - 9 pages The developing world faces unprecedented amounts of pressure on issues such as economic development, poverty, inadequate sanitation and today more than ever, population crises. According to the Eager’s theory of demographic transition, there are three fundamental stages in development. Stage one has high death rates and high fertility rates. Stage two comprises of a decrease in death rates due to better medical treatment and continued high

Why 2

1609 words - 6 pages phenomenon unless we have the full, unifying, true-to-the-last-miniscule-detail explanation, which will also cover all the cases which correspond to our case, cases similar to our case, or distant variants of our case. In short, what they want is a theory of everything, which in itself is a noble goal, but is hardy achievable. Let's face it, everything in our universe is connected in one way or another, or through one another, to everything else in it

exponential population growth as a potential downfall of the economy

571 words - 3 pages the impact of implementing a new fertility policy for a nation. A compelling perspective I came across when researching this topic was that of Thomas Malthus, in “An Essay on the Principle of Population”. His belief, in accrordance with my perspective, focuses on the theory that if the human population continues to grow exponentially it would inevitably outweigh our available resources. However, I found Malthus radical. In order to constrict

Peer Marriages

1954 words - 8 pages between man and woman instead of focussing on the differences that separate them we can overcome the detriments that gender roles promote and enjoy a more fulfilling and lasting marriage. After reading Love Between Equals I found Pepper Schwartz's study to provide a deeper understanding of marriage in our society. The concept of peer marriage challenges many sociological theories held on marriage. It defies Gary Becker's economist theory and

Demographics In Latin America

5843 words - 23 pages Timing of demographic transition in Latin America and its links with human development (An essay) Introduction The deep and rapid change in the demographic pattern for most of the Latin American countries that occurred as a consequence of fertility decline corresponds to one of the most important population structural changes in the Region in modern times. One of the main effects of this change is the transformation taking place in an age

Similar Essays

Output And Gender Discrimination In Pay: Evidence From Manufacturing Industry Of The Kyrgyz Republic

4372 words - 17 pages . the impact of output growth on improved conditions in female labor market. Changing the direction of research they contradicted with Becker's economic theory but still agreed on negative relationship between gender inequality and growth. It is also interesting to note that two studies that looked at the problem from different prospects (Forsythe et al., 2000; Esteve-Volart, 2004) used similar variables - the status of women. Different methods and

Labelling Theory Essay

2780 words - 11 pages (also known as social reaction theory) in the 1963 book Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. Becker's theory evolved during a period of social and political power struggle that was amplified within the world of the college campus (Pfohl 1994). Liberal political movements were embraced by many of the college students and faculty in America (Pfohl 1994). Howard Becker harnessed this liberal influence and adjusted Lemert's labeling theory

Miracle Or Malthus Essay

1391 words - 6 pages : Miracle or Malthus?” discusses whether Africa will face disaster (as in Malthus’s theory) or demographic dividend and studies the various determinants of high but slowly decreasing fertility rates in African countries. The following paper will study why Africa is an outlier in the developing world and why education is a crucial tool for reducing the African fertility rates. African demography is unique African demography is exceptional because of

Theory Of Demographic Transition Essay

1009 words - 4 pages societal trends that favor lower fertility. These trends are produced by the adoption of the new smaller family ideal to the social and economic effects of the urban and industrial revolutions. The connection between urbanization, industrialization, and fertility decline is the trademark of the demographic transition theory. Unfortunately, the exact causes through which urbanization and industrialization affect fertility, such as education or