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Population Control Policies and Fertility Convergence

Author

Listed:
  • Tiloka de Silva

    () (London School of Economics (LSE)
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

  • Silvana Tenreyro

    () (London School of Economics (LSE)
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM)
    Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
    The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR))

Abstract

The rapid population growth in developing countries in the middle of the 20th century led to fears of a population explosion and motivated the inception of what effectively became a global population-control program. The initiative, propelled in its beginnings by intellectual elites in the United States, Sweden, and some developing countries, mobilized resources to enact policies aimed at reducing fertility by widening contraception provision and changing family-size norms. In the following five decades, fertility rates fell dramatically, with a majority of countries converging to a fertility rate just above two children per woman, despite large cross-country differences in economic variables such as GDP per capita, education levels, urbanization, and female labour force participation. The fast decline in fertility rates in developing economies stands in sharp contrast with the gradual decline experienced earlier by more mature economies. In this paper, we argue that population-control policies are likely to have played a central role in the global decline in fertility rates in recent decades and can explain some patterns of that fertility decline that are not well accounted for by other socioeconomic factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiloka de Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2017. "Population Control Policies and Fertility Convergence," Discussion Papers 1717, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1717
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. de Silva, Tiloka & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2017. "The large fall in global fertility: A quantitative model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86157, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility rates; Birth rate; Convergence; Macro-development; Malthusian growth; Population; Population-control policies;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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