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This paper attempts to review the literature on the economics of fertility and to synthesize the findings of that literature in order to see how they fit in the context of the New Home Economics (NHE) and the Easterlin relative income models. Emphasis is placed on the need to work with an exogenous measure of the female wage, and on the possibility that the income effect of the female wage may be stronger than has been assumed in NHE models. Results of tests of both models are presented and discussed, and reasons are suggested for the 'failure' of the two models to explain fertility in the 1980s. A call is made for further attempts to combine the two models, and potential problems in doing so are discussed.


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