DP16821 Partisan Fertility and Presidential Elections

Author(s): Gordon Dahl, Runjing Lu, William Mullins
Publication Date: December 2021
Date Revised: January 2022
Keyword(s): Elections, Fertility, partisanship
JEL(s): D72, J13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics, Political Economy
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16821

Changes in political leadership drive sharp changes in public policy and partisan beliefs about the future. We exploit the surprise 2016 election of Trump to identify the effects of a shift in political power on one of the most consequential household decisions: whether to have a child. Republican-leaning counties experience a sharp and persistent increase in fertility relative to Democratic counties, a shift amounting to 1.2 to 2.2% of the national fertility rate. In addition, Hispanics see fertility fall relative to non-Hispanics, especially compared to rural or evangelical whites.