Fertility and Public Policy
How to Reverse the Trend of Declining Birth Rates
296 pp., 6 x 9 in, 1 b&w illus, 51 figures, 25 tables
- Published: December 17, 2010
- Publisher: The MIT Press
Experts discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness using public policy to influence fertility decisions.
In 2050, world population growth is predicted to come almost to a halt. Shortly thereafter it may well start to shrink. A major reason behind this shift is the fertility decline that has taken place in many developed countries. In this book, experts discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of using public policy to influence fertility decisions. Contributors discuss the general feasibility of public interventions in the area of fertility, analyze fertility patterns and policy design in such countries as Japan, South Korea, China, Sweden, and France, and offer theoretical analyses of parental fertility choices that provide an overview of a broad array of child-related policy instruments in a number of OECD and EU countries.
The chapters show that it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of such policy interventions as child-care subsidies, support for women's labor-force participation, and tax incentives. Data are often incomplete, causal relations unproved, and the role of social norms and culture difficult to account for. Investigating reasons for the decline in fertility more closely will require further study. This volume offers the latest work on this increasingly important subject.
Takayama and Werding have assembled a high quality volume on a topic of paramount importance. Fertility and Public Policy brings together the modern theoretical and empirical literatures on the causes and consequences of low birth rates around the world. All policy makers, social scientists, and interested citizens should read this book as a prerequisite to any attempt to understand fertility patterns or to create pro-natalist policies and child subsidies.
Bruce Sacerdote, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College