Labor Market Conditions and US Teen Birth Rates, 2001-2009

The article, “Labor Market Conditions and US Teen Birth Rates, 2001-2009” by Robert and Chun starts out with their introduction introducing that the U.S. teen birth rate has increased for the first time in 2006. They looked at many articles reviewing the issue of teen birth rates for background information. Some interesting facts they found were that female teenagers were more likely to have children at younger age in higher inequality states. Evidence of this fact was that women believed they had low economic advancement opportunities and thought it would be best to have children at a younger, healthier state and have a stronger child support system. These birth rates have also increased due to the rates of unprotected sex and sex partners increasing. According to Robert and Chun, some researchers thought employment might offer a chance for teen pregnancy pressures to decrease. However, other researchers have found that employment only leads to more risky behaviors, such as drug use. The main goal of Robert and Chun research was to look at the impact of the labor market on the U.S. teen birth rates. Related studies to this question have found that if unemployment rates increase, teen pregnancy decreases. The methods used by Robert and Chun include using data cross the 33 largest states and a fixed effects model. The time frame studied is from 2001-2009, as stated in the title. According to their data, teen birth rates increased in the middle of the decade but were lower in 2009 than in the beginning. One fixed effect used was the income effect. This indicated that as labor market conditions improved, teens were more able to afford having children. Other factors that can effect birth rates include knowledge, contraceptives, abortions, and family backgrounds. This is why Robert and Chun chose to use the fixed effects models with state and year effects. Based on their data and results, they concluded that male employment rates and younger teen births reflect a coercive relationship. They found this result to be due to age separation and risky behaviors. The biggest result they found during this study was a nonlinear relationship between female teen employment and teen birth rates. The income effect shows a positive relationship between birth rates and teen employment. Also, they found that lower employment rates with increased female employment rates led to higher birth rates. Finally, they concluded that labor market conditions marginally influence teen birth rates and that there was a positive correlation between employment of young men and teen birth rates. This was a very informative article and I also found it to be very interesting. I like how the graphs were easy to understand, but they also described their graphs and results in great detail. They took into account many factors when looking into this study. Robert and Chun also took a lot time to research and provide a good amount of background information for the reader. This article by Robert and Chun is one of the best articles I have read.

Cherry, R., & Wang, C. (2015). Labor market conditions and US teen birth rates, 2001-2009. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 36(3), 408-420. doi:

Europe’s Baby Bust

Rosamund McDougall’s article, “Europe’s Baby Bust”, starts out by explaining why the baby bust occurred. McDougall explains that Europe wanted more people to stall the economic collapse because workforce was starting to shrink. People soon realized that this wasn’t a solution because birth rates have been falling for more than a century in Europe. To find a solution to the shrinking workforce, the government is looking for ways to improve health and skills of the people who are in the working age. Also, Europe is already having problems with population growth. If they wanted to cut down on the population why did they think a baby bust would help? According to the Optimum Population Trust, a United Kingdom environmental organization, the planet, Earth, can sustain various levels of consumption and technology based on certain population numbers. This mainly depends on greenhouse gases and the use of fossil fuels. Because of the over population in Europe, economy is diminishing. Europeans are facing an energy crunch, which includes energy shortages and risks of global warming. Europe has already ruled out that mass immigration is not a solution either. One reason being that young immigrants who come in will also grow old as time goes on. Another reason is that the Netherlands gave up on immigration and started mass deportations of immigrants. Europe still considers having a baby bust to help the economy but the Optimum Population Trust says it is not a good idea for the same reasons. A baby will eventually grow up and grow old. In Western Europe, population is falling, but only in Italy. In Italy, the government gave financial incentives for mothers to have more babies and make it easier to working women to raise small families. At the current rate of population, the Earth could reach about 134 trillion by 2300 according to the United Nations. By opinion of the United Nations, everyone should accept the declining birth rates and the aging populations and find ways to work with what is given. This article by Rosamund McDougall doesn’t show any graphs or figures and doesn’t have a set experiment. Its main purpose is just to inform the reader. However, while I was reading the article, I couldn’t understand what point he was making. Are declining birth rates a good thing or are they trying to increase the birth rates? At the beginning it sounded like the increase of birth rates or the baby bust wasn’t a good solution, but towards the middle, he talks about how the government was giving mothers incentives to have more children. It wasn’t a tough read grammatically but it did get confusing at times.

McDougall, Rosamund. “Europe’s Baby Bust.” Free Inquiry 24.5 (2004): 43-44. Web.

Birth Rates and the Vietnam Draft

The article, “Birth Rates and the Vietnam Draft”, by Marianne Bitler and Lucie Schmidt focuses on variation across states on the Vietnam-era and the effects of the wartime on family patterns. The background of the article starts off by describing the Vietnam era which was from 1965 to 1975. During the time, young men were required to be registered for war. There were many deferments such as paternity, married childless, and educational. According to the article, figure 1 describes the induction of the young men into the war drafts, more specifically the Vietnam draft. The main conclusion from the figure one was that young men were the main ones to go into war, which effected the normal family formation patterns such as marriage markets and fertility behavior. This led to major differences in sex ratios, which alternatively affected birth rates. Other effects of birth rates include service men being concentrated in specific age ranges and ages from 19-25 were in the hundreds. Because of the rotation of men in and out and at young ages, women were less likely to marry, which means less likely to have children. The methods used by Bitler and Schmidt include taking data from Selective Service Registrants for each state and year. The time covered was about two years because that is how long the draftees would serve. They used number of calculations for the inductions and years and used more data from Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Database. The birth rates data came from Vital Statistics Detail Natality Data and National Center for Health Statistics. The women used to look at data fell under the ages of 15-29. The dependent variable was the birth rates and the independent was the number of men drafted. The control variables were state, year, and month of births. The results of the data looked at and analyzed was a negative and statistically association. Their conclusions led to the evidence that the Vietnam-Era and the men drafted led to lower birth rates. They concluded that their results are consistent with all their models and hypothesis of sex ratio and literature. They are taking this experiment further by going into detail about how birth rates will vary between the age differences of the mothers and fathers and women’s fertility. This article was very well written and easy to follow. The only figure provided was easy to understand and they also explained the figure in their article. The article by Bitler and Schmidt are similar to all my other articles in their results and how they are looking at various databases. I like how they are going into more detail to find out more about this question instead of stopping here.

Bitler, Marianne P., and Lucie Schmidt. “Birth Rates and the Vietnam Draft.” The American Economic Review, vol. 102, no. 3, 2012, pp. 566-569, Research Library,, doi:


Effect Of The War On The Birth Rates And Postwar Fertility Prospects

This article by Wilson H. Grabill looks into the brief behavior of birth rates during the first World War and the following years. To the common knowledge, before the World War birth rates were increasing, but as more men got called to duty, the rates declined. And then again after the war, the rates starting to increase due to men coming home and a spike in marriages. The most interesting fact that I found in the story was that because of the effects of casualties on the young men in England, France, and Germany, it led to an affect on the birth rates of later years for those countries. In 1915, the United States had a shockingly high level of birth rates which helped increased population. However, in 1939, the birth rates levels were at the very low end of the spectrum.Wilson Grabill took results from 1,000 women fifteen to forty-four years of age. The time frame was from January 1930 to March 1944. He found that the lowest birth rate percentage was in September 1933, ten months after the election of 1932. However, birth rates reached a plateau in May, which followed the invasion of Poland. Because of the variation between high and low birth rates, Wilson says it’s dangerous to predict what the coming birth rate trends would be. There are so many factors to look at when studying birth rates. He does conclude, however, that greatest declines occur because of men getting called to duty or being shipped over seas. Grabill’s methods came from his observations of study of the birth rates. He concludes that trends of birth rates goes more toward smaller families without the effects of the wars. The major trends are shown by white women with their first and second child and their age. This is due because of the fertility of small groups living in small areas compared to urban area living families. Birth rates will always have a peak and then a decline and continue on that pattern according Grabill.This article was very well written and an easy read for anyone. Grabill explains the charts in great detail to help the reader understand where he gets his numbers from and how they relate to his study. Also, the layout of the paper helped. He talked about background information first, then his results, and then explain his observations about the results and charts. Very easy to read and interpret.

Grabill, Wilson H. “Effect of the War on the Birth Rate and Postwar Fertility Prospects.” American Journal of Sociology 50.2 (1944): 107-11. Web.


“Rich Man, Poor Man,” by Milton Ezrati focuses on the relationship between developed countries and developing countries economies. In this study, developing countries include China and India. Developed countries include Europe, Japan, and America. This data starts at the year of 1997 and looks into the future of about 2030. The main difference between the developing counties, which are growing vastly, and the developed countries, which continue to grow, is the carry of every-aging population of the developed countries. Another compelling fact about why developing countries aren’t to the level of the developed countries is the demographics. The developing countries will need to retain the younger workforce to continue its rapid growth to keep up and meet the developed countries standards. Some factors that are are helping developing countries with the growth would be one-child policy to help slow the force of labor. Developing countries are so far behind the developed countries because of the labor. Labor in the developed countries is more productive due to the the equipment and financial status. To help develop their countries, China and India are investing in education, modern facilities and increased labor productivity. As stated previously, wealth, knowledge, and demographics are the gaps between the two economies. One thing both economies are doing is feeding off each other. America, Europe, and Japan rely on developing countries immigrants to keep up their labor workforce. This means the consumption needs for retired populations aren’t straining their workforces beyond their capability because of the developing worlds youthfulness of workforce. Developing countries need to stay in a relation with the developed countries otherwise the outcome of the economy will die down. This is due to the low levels of wealth and low wage scales that the markets can’t keep up the full output, which in returned would make them stay a developing country. A good flow of financial statuses and learn new necessary sills, for example: management and innovation. Developed countries have to maintain their skills they have now and be creative to keep moving forward. This study was more of a observational study without needed to much experiments. They took data that was found from population and economies and compared the two to see why one is greater than the other. The main results between this study was that developing countries are on the rise but both economies depend on each other for financial status and skills. One might take away that the population of the developed countries is the biggest factor, they have more retired people and less population because of the modern industry. Therefore, population does effect the economy.


Ezrati, Milton. “Rich Man, Poor Man.” The International Economy, vol. 22, no. 1, 2008, pp. 48-51,83, Research Library,


One might think that having higher birth rates could help the economy by having a higher population. A high population means more productivity, right? Well according to this study by Shun-Chun Cheng, this might not be true.
Many conflicts have occurred with this reoccurring question. Some previous studies have shown that higher birth rates maybe good, but only for awhile. More background information that Shun-Chun Cheng discovered was that high birth rates are always associated with low per capita income. This study includes many variables and included are the most important: mortality rate, labor participation rate, and GDP as the control. Because some countries have had previous population rules, he chose the time from 2004-2008 in all countries. While most studies have found the correlation to be negative, it was considered small data. On the other hand, some studies showed little positive effects between the two variables. Before starting his study, Cheng looked into all these pervious studies for background information. An important fact he came across was another variable. This variable being the timing of demographic specifications.
Shun-Chun Cheng took two approaches into this study, one being a theoretical model and the other being an empirical model. For the empirical model, there was a catalog of the dataset from the World Bank. All data was recorded for all nations equally. Major results matched Cheng hypothesis by birth rates having a positive and negative effect on economic growth depending on how high the birth rate reaches. The R-squared came to a value of 22.29%, which means that there is good relationship between birth rate and economic growth. The F-statistic indicates birth rates are associated with economic growth because it is high as well. The major results were for positive signs for birth rates are countries with higher birth rates have a higher GDP growth. This hits a certain point though. As the birth rates approach 10.37, the GDP growth switches to negative correlation.
From the previous studies, the time from 1960’s to 1970’s showed that population growth didn’t have an impact on economic growth. However, the 1980’s showed differently with negative impacts. It seems the relationship is dependent on the time period. Shun-Chun Cheng findings state that the birth rates slow economic growth at certain times. Another key factor about this study is the population limitations. In some ways they can help and other ways they can be hindering. The government decides on population limitations and should read into them carefully. After all the studies on this topic, more variables and data should be included. There is no definite answer as to whether or not birth rates help or hinder economic growth. But it is safe to say that it’s not always a positive to have high birth rates.


Cheng, Shun-Chun. Do High Birth Rates Hinder Economic Growth? A Cross-Country
Study. Order No. 1491315 Georgetown University, 2011 Ann ArborProQuest. 5 Sep.                               2017.