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Overview: The Birth Quake and Its Aftershocks

Overview: The Birth Quake and Its Aftershocks

(p.1) Overview: The Birth Quake and Its Aftershocks
Birth Quake
Diane J. Macunovich
University of Chicago Press

This chapter summarizes the evidence that seems to explain how so much of the social and economic change over the last fifty years has been related to the post-WWII baby boom and that generation's passage through the life cycle, and how the baby boom itself was probably triggered. It also concentrates on birth cohorts and addresses the relative cohort size effects. Together with increasing divorce rates, declining fertility and marriage rates and increased female college enrollment and labor force participation seem to correspond with an economic model based on the female wage and on male relative income and the college wage premium. With respect to gross domestic product growth, savings rates and inflation indicate a possible link between changing age structure and some of the severe economic downturns experienced here and abroad. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is provided.

Keywords:   baby boom, birth cohorts, cohort size, divorce, fertility, marriage, savings, inflation, wage

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