Aggregate data on birth rates in the U.S. and Japan, classified by period and by age, are decomposed into age, period, and cohort effects using Bayesian cohort models that were developed to overcome the identification problem in cohort analysis. Main findings are fivefold. First, age, period, and cohort effects movements are all larger in Japan than in the U.S. Second, in both countries, age effects are the largest and are roughly consistent with the life-cycle movements showing an inverted U shape. Third, Easterlin’s cohort size hypothesis roughly fits U.S. birth rates but not Japanese birth rates. Fourth, despite rapid decline of total fertility rates in Japan in last three decades, period effects have been on an upward trend since the early 1990s. Finally, upward and downward cohort effects movements in Japan are derived by rapid economic growth and the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, respectively.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 14, 2008
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