Low fertility, economic change and unemployment during the interbellum period

Jan Van Bavel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In their recent paper, Schellekens and van Poppel (2012) show that a very high proportion of the decline towards low fertility in the 1930s in the Netherlands can be explained by economic change, "leaving little room for attitudinal change" (p.965). More specifically, there results "indicate that unemployment was a major contributing factor to relatively low fertility in the 1930s" (p.983). The question remains to what extent this conclusion holds for European countries more generally, especially taking into account that the Netherlands experienced a notably late fertility transition (Van Poppel 1983). The aim of this contribution is to shed some light on the matter with descriptive data, hoping to stimulate more sophisticated analyses in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrans van Poppel: A Sort of Farewell
Subtitle of host publicationLiber Amicorum
EditorsErik Beekink, Evelien Walhout
Place of PublicationThe Hague
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-90-8780-000-0
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Erik Beekink and Evelien Walhout


  • fertility
  • economic crisis
  • unemployment
  • historical demography


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