Tempo Effects on Fertility during the Great Recession: Surprises and New Models

Joshua R. Goldstein, University of California, Berkeley
Thomas Cassidy, Bucknell University

The recession has reduced birth rates in many countries. Have these births been simply delayed or forever foregone? Tempo-adjustment is meant to answer such questions. Applying the Bongaarts-Feeney method, however, gives us clearly the wrong answer. Their tempo-adjusted TFR shows _increasing_ birth rates with the onset of the recession. In this paper, we describe how and why the period-based approach of Bongaarts and Feeney can go wrong. We then propose alternative cohort-based approaches to tempo-adjustment that suggests that much of the fertility decline of the Recession will not be recovered. Finally, since postponement is likely to have both period and cohort components we develop a combined approach that includes both effects. Applications are made to the United States, Spain, and Greece.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 144: Timing of Fertility