Fahey, Tony. 'Trends in Irish fertility rates in comparative perspective'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, July, 2001, pp.153-180, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
This paper examines trends in Irish fertility rates over the past four decades in the context of fertility trends in developed countries generally. Irish fertility rates have stabilised at the upper edge of the European range in the 1990s. This seems surprising, since the level of direct and opportunity costs of children would seem to be no more favourable to childbearing in Ireland than elsewhere in Europe. However, while Irish fertility rates are still reasonably high by European standards they are not particularly high by the standards of the “new world” countries – fertility rates in the US and New Zealand have been higher than in Ireland for much of the 1990s. The present paper explores the historical background and significance of these similarities and differences. It interprets trends in fertility rates in Ireland by reference to changes in supply and demand constraints and in the shifting balance between the two since the 1960s.
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