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Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses

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  • Joëlle Sleebos
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    Abstract

    Fertility rates have declined in most OECD countries to levels that are well below those needed to secure generation replacement. While attitudes towards this decline in fertility rates differ across countries, several OECD governments have introduced — or are considering — specific measures aimed at countering it. Such measures are often justified by government’s wish of either reducing some of the negative consequences of population ageing for society as a whole, or of removing obstacles that discourage those women wishing to have more children from doing so, because of the negative economic consequences of childbearing and of the length of the associated responsibilities. This paper provides a comparative overview of the evidence about the size, timing and nature of this decline in fertility rate across “mature” OECD countries, and about the effects of different measures introduced to deal with it. The first chapter of this paper reviews a range of indicators of the fertility ... La plupart des pays de l’OCDE affichent des taux de fécondité nettement inférieurs à ceux nécessaires pour assurer le remplacement des générations. Si les réactions à l’égard de ce phénomène diffèrent selon les pays, un grand nombre de gouvernements ont adopté – ou envisagent – des mesures spécifiques pour y faire face. Ces mesures visent bien souvent soit à réduire certaines conséquences négatives du vieillissement de la population pour la société dans son ensemble, soit à supprimer les obstacles qui dissuadent les femmes d’avoir plus d’enfants en raison des retombées économiques négatives liées à la maternité et à la durée des responsabilités à assumer. Ce document présente une analyse comparative de la dimension et de la nature du déclin des taux de fécondité dans les pays de l’OCDE, et sur l’effet de différentes mesures pour le contrer. Le premier chapitre de ce document passe en revue une série d’indicateurs des schémas de fécondité observés récemment dans les pays de ...

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers with number 15.

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    Date of creation: 07 Oct 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:15-en

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    Cited by:
    1. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
    2. Kuang-Ta Lo, 2012. "The Crowding-out Effect of Homeownership on Fertility," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 108-117, March.
    3. Angela Luci & Olivier Thévenon, 2012. "The impact of family policy packages on fertility trends in developed countries," Working Papers 174, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    4. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2007. "Parental religiosity and daughters’ fertility: the case of Catholics in southern Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 305-327, September.
    5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00660630 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jan M. Hoem, 2008. "Overview Chapter 8: The impact of public policies on European fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(10), pages 249-260, July.
    7. Izhak Berkovich, 2013. "A Multidimensional Approach in International Comparative Policy Analysis Based on Demographic Projections," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 32(6), pages 943-968, December.
    8. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen, 2012. "Getting Back into the Labor Market: The Effects of Start-Up Subsidies for Unemployed Females," IZA Discussion Papers 6830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Concetta, MENDOLICCHIO, 2005. "Gender and private returns to education : a cross-European analysis," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005056, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    11. Ian Dey & Fran Wasoff, 2010. "Another Child? Fertility Ideals, Resources and Opportunities," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(6), pages 921-940, December.
    12. Gerda R. Neyer & Gunnar Andersson, 2007. "Consequences of family policies on childbearing behavior: effects or artifacts?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. Yamamura, Eiji & Antonio R, Andrés, 2011. "Trust and Fertility: Evidence from OECD countries," MPRA Paper 29978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Cosmin Enache, 2013. "Family and Childcare Support Public Expenditures and Short-Term Fertility Dynamics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 347-364, May.
    15. Natálie Švarcová & Petr Švarc, 2009. "The Financial Impact of Government Policies on Families with Children in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 048-068, March.
    16. Cooke, Lynn Prince, 2003. "The South revisited: The division of labor and family outcomes in Italy and Spain," IRISS Working Paper Series 2003-12, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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