Fertility in Israel, An Economist's Interpretation : Differentials and Trends, 1950-1970.

by Yoram Ben-Porath


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The number of children that families have depends largely on their own desires, and the number desired depends largely on their resources. A fertility model is presented in terms of the role of education. Years of schooling is used as a proxy for human wealth. There is a weak relation between the husband's education and the number of children, but there is a clear-cut negative relation between the wife's education and the number of children. In spite of the rapid income increase among the Arab population, only now has there been a spurt in the education level of Arab women. More than half now entering the child-bearing years have had five or more years of schooling. There are, therefore, grounds for predicting a decline in the fertility of the Arab population of Israel. 59 pp

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