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Good post Livio. I wonder though, with the interprovincial comparisons, could it partly be that people in the breeding years are more likely than older people to move to where the jobs are, rather than staying put and having fewer babies?

"Unemployment and enchanted romantic evenings are not positively correlated."

Possibly the best WCI quote I have read. A nice analysis too.

Nick: Migration is indeed more likely when you are younger and a factor in these trends.

Further to Nick Rowe's point, I wonder how the charts might look if you graphed the per capita birth rate instead. An area with a higher percentage of people of child-bearing age will certainly have a higher fertility rate. What are the age demographics of the regions discussed above?

This is interesting, I lately revisited an older paper that among other thing contained a similar argument: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol13/22/13-22.pdf

So in Sweden the financial crises in nineties caused the fertility rate to drop from 2.0 to 1.5. The upside was that as soon as the crises passed the fertility rate caught up so that the long-term trend of 2.0 was unaffected. So it seems that the crisis caused women only to delay their decision to have babies. But I still wonder what would happen to a modern society that lives in a permanent crises - where women with children cannot be supported by traditional social network of broader families.

Per capita is a good suggestion. in terms of demographics, Alberta is the "youngest" province with the smallest proportion over age 65. The Atlantic region is definitely the "oldest".

I agree with Highlander on the quote - I love it, and will certainly pass it on to my Econ of the Fammily class!

Well, I'm 30, the recession came down on my head and I don't have kids. It's awfully tough to pay for dates when you have other priorities to pay for. Poor isn't sexy.

My brother has a job, a house, and my sister-in-law gave birth to my niece last year. My reaction, aside from loving my niece completely? I want a kid.

30 year old SWM Canadian with engineering degree, aspiring public servant, bilingual and member of the United Church seeks compatible female. Looking to settle down into that blissful/boring family life so no jet-set expectations or hard partying should be expected. Ladies, any takers? ;)

Australia did not have a recession at all, and births seems to be up and the fertility rate had a minor drop since 2008 up is still higher than 2007.

Its anecdotal, but at least in the legal profession, there seems to have been an upsurge in young bay street lawyers having children and taking maternity leave in 2009. Part of that is no doubt the opportunity cost analysis (if no one is going to be hitting their billable targets anyhow, now's a good time to have a kid).

Mind you, being a cynic, I couldn't help wondering if this wasn't also a clever job preservation strategy. Sure, maternity benefits at Bay Street firms aren't particularly generous (though, in fairness, they're not terrible), but in an era when law firms were shedding associates (and 2009 was a bloodbath), being on maternity leave gives you a degree of job security for a year (I suspect its illegal to lay-off someone on maternity leave, but even if it isn't, the optics are terrible and law firms are quite sensitive to optics)

Ryan is right about graphing births on a per capita basis - or, ideally, a per woman of child bearing age, basis.

Humor me.

Making babies is a Leontieff production function. If women view male partners as valued by their wealth/income outlook, then it can appear as if there is a "shortage of good men" to have children with. Concentration of wealth in the hands of a minority leads to an overall reduction in babies.

Therefore widespread redistribution, as well as a commitment to continued redistribution, would increase the supply of babies.

Alternately, preferences for what an eligible father requires can change. But that takes a long time.

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