Study on the Optimal Fertility Choice Based on Household Utility Function

Shandan WU


Under the background of implementing the “two-child policy” in China, this paper builds the overlapping generation household utility model which includes the parents’ salary level and their children’s expected income level. This study finds that economic costs, the time of childcare and the household utility elasticity of consumption have negative impact on the household optimal fertility choice. The father’s salary level, the household utility elasticity of child-bearing and the children’s income elasticity of human capital investment have a positive effect on the choice of optimal childbirth while the impact of mother’s salary level is uncertain. At the end of this paper, we put forward some suggestions on how to effectively promote the “two children’s policy”.


Universal two child policy; Household utility function; Optimal fertility choice

Full Text:



Barro, R. J., & Becker, G. S. (1989). Fertility choice in a model of economic growth. Econometrica, 57(2), 481-501.

Becker, G. S. (1977). An economic analysis of fertility. Nber Chapters, 41(5), 209-240.

Bhat, P. N. M. (2017). Returning a favor: Reciprocity between female education and fertility in India. World Development, 30(10), 1791-1803.

Boldrin, M., & Jones, L. E. (2002). Mortality, fertility, and saving in a Malthusian economy. Review of Economic Dynamics, 5(4), 775-814.

Boldrin, M., Nardi, M. D., & Jones, L. (2015). Fertility and social security. Journal of Demographic Economics, 81(3), 261-299.

Croix, D. D. L., & Doepke, M. (2003). Inequality and growth: Why differential fertility matters. American Economic Review, 93(4), 1091-1113.

Jin, Y. A., Song, J., & Chen, W. (2016). Women’s fertility preference and intention in urban China: An empirical study on the nationwide two-child policy. Population Research, 40(6), 22-37.

Liebenstein, H. (1981). Economic decision theory and human fertility behavior: A speculative essay. Population & Development Review, 7(3), 381-400.

Shapiro, D., & Tenikue, M. (2017). Women’s education, infant and child mortality, and fertility decline in rural and urban sub-Saharan Africa. Demographic Research, 37(9), 669-708.

Song, L. M., Wang, Y., & Liu, Q. R. (2012).The model and empirical analysis of fertility decision – making in China’s rural family. Populatin Journal, (1), 24-31.

Tan, X. P. (2015). The factors influencing the fertility intention for second child under China’s new fertility policy in the perspective of cost-utility theory: An analysis of the survey data in Xuzhou. South China Population, 30(2), 1-12+22.

Zhang, X. Q., Huang, C. H., Zhang, Q., Chen, S. S., & Fan, Q. P. (2016). Fertility intention for the second child under the selective and universal two-child policies: Comparisons and implications. Population Research, 40(1), 87-97.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Shandan WU

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in International Business and Management are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http:// Http://

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Centre of Sciences and Cultures