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J Am Stat Assoc. 1992 Mar;87(417):38-47.

Modeling household fertility decisions: a nonlinear simultaneous probit model.


"This article proposes new methods for modeling household fertility decisions....Specifically, we model the trivariate distribution of wife's stated desire for additional children, husband's stated desire for additional children, and subsequent fertility. In the model, the stated desire of the husband (wife) is viewed as an indicator of the husband's (wife's) latent disposition toward subsequent fertility. The husband's (wife's) disposition is allowed to depend on the wife's (husband's) disposition. The two dispositions are then combined to generate the couple's propensity for subsequent fertility. We show how such models can be estimated and tested and how the parameters can be used to assess the relative influence of each partner on the propensity." The model is tested using U.S. data from the Princeton Fertility Study for the 1950s and 1960s. The results indicate that "both husband's disposition score and wife's disposition score affect the propensity score, and, under some additional assumptions, that husbands and wives have equal relative influence on the propensity."

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