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Overview Chapter 8: The impact of public policies on European fertility

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  • Jan M. Hoem

    (Stockholms Universitet)

Abstract

This chapter outlines the positions in the current debate about the possibility of using public policies to influence fertility. We note the polarization between, on the one hand, those who view public policies as obvious means for lifting the currently low fertility levels in Europe, in line with the role of economic policies in a modern society; and, on the other hand, those who feel that family policies are inefficient, and perhaps even unnecessary. We place the contributions of the national chapters of this book in this framework and describe the formidable methodological difficulties that face those who seek to investigate policy impacts on fertility behavior. While properly conducted empirical investigations have overcome such problems and have clearly demonstrated policy effects in specific circumstances, we conclude that, in general, national fertility is possibly best seen as a systemic outcome that depends more on broader attributes, such as the degree of family-friendliness of a society, and less on the presence and detailed construction of monetary benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:10
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/10/19-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gunnar Andersson, 2005. "A study on policies and practices in selected countries that encourage childbirth: the case of Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Anders Björklund, 2006. "Does family policy affect fertility?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, February.
    3. Joëlle Sleebos, 2003. "Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Tomas Frejka & Jean-Paul Sardon, 2007. "Cohort birth order, parity progression ratio and parity distribution trends in developed countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(11), pages 315-374, April.
    6. Jan M. Hoem, 2005. "Why does Sweden have such high fertility?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arianna Caporali & Sebastian Klüsener & Gerda Neyer & Sandra Krapf & Olga Grigorieva & Dora Kostova, 2016. "The Contextual Database of the Generations and Gender Programme: Concept, content, and research examples," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(9), pages 229-252, August.
    2. Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbjørn Raaum & Knut Røed, 2010. "When Minority Labor Migrants Meet the Welfare State," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 633-676, July.
    3. Thyrian, Jochen René & Fendrich, Konstanze & Lange, Anja & Haas, Johannes-Peter & Zygmunt, Marek & Hoffmann, Wolfgang, 2010. "Changing maternity leave policy: Short-term effects on fertility rates and demographic variables in Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 672-676, August.
    4. David E. Bloom & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "Economic Consequences of Low Fertility in Europe," PGDA Working Papers 5410, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    5. Ronald R. Rindfuss & Minja Kim Choe & Sarah R. Brauner-Otto, 2016. "The Emergence of Two Distinct Fertility Regimes in Economically Advanced Countries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(3), pages 287-304, June.
    6. Allan Puur & Livia Sz. Oláh & Mariam Irene Tazi-Preve & Jürgen Dorbritz, 2008. "Men's childbearing desires and views of the male role in Europe at the dawn of the 21st century," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(56), pages 1883-1912, November.
    7. Kristen Harknett & Francesco Billari & Carla Medalia, 2014. "Do Family Support Environments Influence Fertility? Evidence from 20 European Countries," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 1-33, February.
    8. Pau Baizan & Bruno Arpino & Carlos Eric Delclòs, 2016. "The Effect of Gender Policies on Fertility: The Moderating Role of Education and Normative Context," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 1-30, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childbearing; Europe; fertility; public policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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