Fertility and housing

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Young households in Hong Kong face particularly steep increases in house prices and low fertility despite low gender wage gaps. The model of fertility and housing in this paper explains why fertility decline need not reverse as female wages rise relative to male wages where housing land is scarce. For given house prices, demand for children may rise with female relative wages if housing comprises a sufficiently large share of childrearing. If the user cost of housing falls with rising house prices then fertility also rises. For endogenous house prices, however, growth in wages and a burgeoning working age population raises the market price of housing. In turn, fertility no longer rises with female relative wages. The analysis provides a novel mechanism whereby high population support ratios depress fertility and the results fit recent evidence that house prices affect fertility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)172-190
    JournalChina Economic Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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