Fertility Rates Around the World: A Cluster Analysis of Time Series Data from 1960 to 2013

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


The entry of women into the labor market with an active and permanent presence is, today, a subject of a heated debate among scholars and policy makers that sees, on the one hand, diversity in gender relations and women’s employment and on the other hand the economic importance of women and increasing economic efficiency. At international level, greater economic and political role of women is recognized as a sign of economic vitality of the country. The increase in female education rates, the economic and cultural globalization, public policies favorable to families, and recent legislative impositions have enlivened this debate highlighting two crucial aspects: a greater integration of women meeting the equitable principles of equal opportunities and a greater integration of women responding to greater efficiency and economic growth. The main limitations and difficulties in the participation of women in the labor market are numerous and complex and often interconnected: direct discrimination, occupational segregation, stereotypes, conciliation of life and work, the service coverage rates, etc.

In this paper we use World Bank data on fertility rates around the world from 1960 to 2013, and we analyze the different time series related to fertility rates of different countries in order to detect different clusters. The classification of different countries considered in different clusters is performed by considering an appropriate clustering methodology and the dynamic time warping distance. At this point we interpret the different clusters in order to considering also the different labor markets and policies as a relevant determinant of the dynamic of the fertility rate over time and a relevant statistical reason of the formation of the cluster. The aim of this paper is to provide how and if greater attention to women considerations could lead to a greater understanding of the obstacles that prevent the full participation of women in the economy and in particular in the labor market. This recognition allows the creation of more targeted assistance programs to address these obstacles thus creating an environment for even better response from policy makers. This paper is organized as follows. In the first section, we present a recent review of the main literature on women in the labor market. The second section presents data. The third section presents the methodology used and the fourth all different statistical results. In the fifth section, we discuss all results obtained. Finally, we conclude.


Economics of gender Econometrics Labor market Public policy Welfare economics 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Rome “Niccolò’ Cusano”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and LawKore University of EnnaEnnaItaly

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