The rise of the global network of nation-states has precipitated social transformations throughout the world. This article examines the role of political and economic globalization in driving fertility convergence across countries between 1965 and 2009. While past research has typically conceptualized fertility change as a country-level process, this study instead employs a theoretical and methodological framework that examines differences in fertility between pairs of countries over time. Convergence in fertility between pairs of countries is hypothesized to result from increased cross-country connectedness and cross-national transmission of fertility-related schemas. I investigate the impact of various crosscountry ties, including ties through bilateral trade, intergovernmental organizations, and regional trade blocs, on fertility convergence. I find that globalization acts as a form of social interaction to produce fertility convergence. There is significant heterogeneity in the effects of different cross-country ties. In particular, trade with rich model countries, joint participation in the UN and UNESCO, and joining a free trade agreement all contribute to fertility convergence between countries. Whereas the prevailing focus in fertility research has been on factors producing fertility declines, this analysis highlights specific mechanisms-trade and connectedness through organizations- leading to greater similarity in fertility across countries. Globalization is a process that propels the spread of culturally laden goods and schemas impinging on fertility, which in turn produces fertility convergence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science