December 2021

IZA DP No. 14948: Partisan Fertility and Presidential Elections

Gordon B. Dahl, Runjing Lu, William Mullins

published in: American Economic Review: Insights, 2022, 4 (4), 473-493

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.