Study Finds That Presidential Elections Can Impact Women’s Fertility Rates

New research led by scholars at the University of California, San Diego, finds that Republican-leaning counties saw a sharp rise in birth rates compared to Democratic-leaning counties after Donald J. Trump’s surprise win in the 2016 presidential election. Democratic counties, on the other hand, experienced a baby slump.

The paper’s authors find that this difference between Republican versus Democratic babies conceived in the first two years of the Trump presidency amounts to between 1 and 2 percent of the national birth rate. That’s a seismic partisan shift according to the authors.

The authors cite a radical change in mindsets among members of the two parties as a possible reason behind the difference in birth rates. Former President Trump’s win in 2016 was unexpected by the majority of Americans and it led to a sharp change in optimism among Democrats and Republicans.

William Mullins, assistant professor of finance at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego and a co-author of the study, stated that “Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided on their policy priorities and worries about the future, including on topics such as the environment, inequality, moral values, and immigration. Polling data on voters’ satisfaction with ‘the way things are going in the U.S.’ reveals members of the two parties see the country through almost completely different lenses.”

The study, “Partisan Fertility and Presidential Elections,” will be published in the American Economic Review: Insights. It may be accessed here.

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