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Population control policies and fertility convergence

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  • de Silva, Tiloka
  • Tenreyroa, Silvana

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 populationcontrol 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

  • de Silva, Tiloka & Tenreyroa, Silvana, 2017. "Population control policies and fertility convergence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86158, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86158
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/86158/
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu Qiang & Fernando Rios-Avila & Han Jiqin, 2020. "Is China's Low Fertility Rate Caused by the Population Control Policy?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_943, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Jorge M. Agüero, 2019. "Information and Behavioral Responses with More than One Agent: The Case of Domestic Violence Awareness Campaigns," Working papers 2019-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Wang, Qingfeng, 2018. "Missing Women, Gender Imbalance and Sex Ratio at Birth: Why the One-Child Policy Matters," MPRA Paper 95412, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Aug 2019.
    4. 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.
    5. O'Sullivan, Jane N., 2020. "The social and environmental influences of population growth rate and demographic pressure deserve greater attention in ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C).
    6. Brian Beach & W. Walker Hanlon, 2019. "Censorship, Family Planning, and the Historical Fertility Transition," NBER Working Papers 25752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zsofia Barany & Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud, 2018. "Capital Flows in an Aging World," Sciences Po publications 13180, Sciences Po.
    8. Yi Chen & Yingfei Huang, 2020. "The power of the government: China's Family Planning Leading Group and the fertility decline of the 1970s," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(35), pages 985-1038.
    9. van Dalen, Harry & Henkens, C.J.I.M., 2020. "When is fertility too low or too high? : Population policy preferences of demographers around the world," Other publications TiSEM a3972075-2021-4327-9d62-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility rates; birth rate; convergence; macro-development; Malthusian growth; population; population-control policies. growth; population.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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