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The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature

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  • Anne Gauthier

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the theoretical propositions and empirical evidence linking policies and fertility. More specifically, the analysis presented in this paper draws attention to the complex mechanisms that theoretically link policies and demographic outcomes: mechanisms that involve imperfect information and decisions that are rationally bound by very specific circumstances. As to the empirical evidence, studies provide mixed conclusions as to the effect of policies on fertility. While a small positive effect of policies on fertility is found in numerous studies, no statistically significant effect is found in others. Moreover, some studies suggest that the effect of policies tends to be on the timing of births rather than on completed fertility. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Population Research and Policy Review.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 323-346

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:poprpr:v:26:y:2007:i:3:p:323-346

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102983

    Related research

    Keywords: Demography; Fertility; Public policy;

    References

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    1. Liliane Brouillette & Claude Felteau & Pierre Lefebvre, 1993. "Les effets de la fiscalité sur les comportements de fécondité au Québec," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(3), pages 260-278, September.
    2. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
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    14. Jan M. Hoem, 2005. "Why does Sweden have such high fertility?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(22), pages 559-572, November.
    15. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    16. John Ermisch, 1988. "Econometric Analysis of Birth Rate Dynamics in Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 563-576.
    17. Guy Laroque & Bernard Salanié, 2003. "Fertility and Financial Incentives in France," Working Papers 2003-32, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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    19. Thomas A. DiPrete & S. Philip Morgan & Henriette Engelhardt & Hana Pacalova, 2003. "Do Cross-National Differences in the Costs of Children Generate Cross-National Differences in Fertility Rates?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 355, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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    23. Whittington, Leslie A & Alm, James & Peters, H Elizabeth, 1990. "Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Implicit Pronatalist Policy in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 545-56, June.
    24. Tomas Kögel, 2001. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    27. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    28. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    29. Douglas E. Hyatt & William J. Milne, 1991. "Can Public Policy Affect Fertility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 17(1), pages 77-85, March.
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