Skip to main content

Birth and Fortune

The Impact of Numbers on Personal Welfare

Second Edition

In this influential work, Richard A. Easterlin shows how the size of a generation—the number of persons born in a particular year—directly and indirectly affects the personal welfare of its members, the make-up and breakdown of the family, and the general well being of the economy.

"[Easterlin] has made clear, I think unambiguously, that the baby-boom generation is economically underprivileged merely because of its size. And in showing this, he demonstrates that population size can be as restrictive as a factor as sex, race, or class on equality of opportunity in the U.S."—Jeffrey Madrick, Business Week

235 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 | © 1980, 1987

With a new Chapter

Economics and Business: Economics--General Theory and Principles

Sociology: Demography and Human Ecology, General Sociology

Table of Contents

I. The Argument
1. The Accident of Birth: Generation Size and Personal Welfare
2. The Economic Fortunes of Young Adults
II. Family
3. Marriage and Childbearing
4. Women’s Work
5. Breakdown of the Family?
III. Society and Economy
6. Social Disorganization
7. Stagflation
IV. Implications
8. The Future
9. Conclusion
10. Epilogue
Appendix Tables

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press