IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/86623.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Population control policies and fertility convergence

Author

Listed:
  • de Silva, Tiloka
  • Tenreyro, 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 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

  • de Silva, Tiloka & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2017. "Population control policies and fertility convergence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86623, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86623
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/86623/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    2. Oriana Bandiera & Niklas Buehren & Robin Burgess & Markus Goldstein & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2020. "Women's Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 210-259, January.
    3. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    4. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-439, December.
    5. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2012. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, October.
    7. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
    8. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
    9. Omer Moav, 2005. "Cheap Children and the Persistence of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 88-110, January.
    10. World Bank, 2015. "World Development Indicators 2015," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 21634, December.
    11. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    12. Junsen Zhang, 2017. "The Evolution of China's One-Child Policy and Its Effects on Family Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 141-160, Winter.
    13. Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, June.
    14. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2.
    15. Warren C. Robinson & John A. Ross, 2007. "The Global Family Planning Revolution : Three Decades of Population Policies and Programs," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6788, December.
    16. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    17. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    18. Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ananth Seshadri, 2009. "Explaining International Fertility Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 124(2), pages 771-807.
    19. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Martha J. Bailey, 2013. "Fifty Years of Family Planning: New Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(1 (Spring), pages 341-409.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bárány, Zsófia L. & Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Guibaud, Stéphane, 2023. "Capital flows in an aging world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    2. Zsofia Barany & Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud, 2018. "Capital Flows in an Aging World," SciencePo Working papers hal-03393116, HAL.
    3. Matthias Doepke & Anne Hannusch & Fabian Kindermann & Michèle Tertilt, 2022. "The Economics of Fertility: A New Era," NBER Working Papers 29948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sun, Tianyu & Wei, Sichao, 2022. "Longer parental time and lower fertility rate," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 22(C).
    5. Guillaume Daudin & Raphaël Franck & Hillel Rapoport, 2019. "Can Internal Migration Foster the Convergence in Regional Fertility Rates? Evidence from 19th Century France," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(620), pages 1618-1692.
    6. Swastika Chakravorty & Srinivas Goli & K. S. James, 2021. "Family Demography in India: Emerging Patterns and Its Challenges," SAGE Open, , vol. 11(2), pages 21582440211, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Xiaohui Liu & Zhihao Zhou & Jing Zhang, 2023. "Longevity, Fertility, and the Real Exchange Rate," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 31(2), pages 26-57, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Bidisha Mandal & Wenjun Wu, 2023. "Examining the effects of a two-child policy in rural India," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 1-20, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Frank Götmark & Malte Andersson, 2023. "Achieving sustainable population: Fertility decline in many developing countries follows modern contraception, not economic growth," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 1606-1617, June.
    13. 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.
    14. 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).
    15. Huang, Kaixing, 2018. "Secular Fertility Declines Hinder Long-Run Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 106977, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Apr 2021.
    16. Catherine Guirkinger & Paola Villar, 2022. "Pro-birth policies, missions and fertility : historical evidence from Congo," DeFiPP Working Papers 2204, University of Namur, Development Finance and Public Policies.
    17. Brian Beach & W. Walker Hanlon, 2019. "Censorship, Family Planning, and the Historical Fertility Transition," NBER Working Papers 25752, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. 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.
    19. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Kène Henkens, 2021. "When is fertility too low or too high? Population policy preferences of demographers around the world," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 75(2), pages 289-303, May.
    20. Jin, Zhangfeng & Pan, Shiyuan & Zheng, Zhijie, 2021. "The Unintended Consequences of Relaxing Birth Quotas: Theory and Evidence," GLO Discussion Paper Series 819, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    21. Vytenis Juozas Deimantas & A. Ebru Şanlıtürk & Leo Azzollini & Selin Köksal, 2024. "Population Dynamics and Policies in Europe: Analysis of Population Resilience at the Subnational and National Levels," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 43(2), pages 1-28, April.
    22. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/1evugr7cvq8naonad7623t1rbv is not listed on IDEAS

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Tiloka de Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2017. "The Large Fall in Global Fertility: A Quantitative Model," Discussion Papers 1718, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    3. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jakob Madsen & Holger Strulik, 2023. "Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity‐quality tradeoff," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(1), pages 235-275, January.
    5. Holger Strulik, 2017. "Contraception And Development: A Unified Growth Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58(2), pages 561-584, May.
    6. William Lord & Peter Rangazas, 2006. "Fertility and development: the roles of schooling and family production," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 229-261, September.
    7. Marla Ripoll & Juan Carlos Cordoba, 2011. "A Contribution to the Economic Theory of Fertility," 2011 Meeting Papers 1207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Tenreyro, Silvana & De-Silva, Tiloka, 2015. "Fertility Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 10782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Nguyen Thang Dao & Julio Dávila & Angela Greulich, 2021. "The education gender gap and the demographic transition in developing countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 431-474, April.
    10. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 357-385, December.
    11. Strulik, Holger & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2008. "Birth, Death, and Development: A Simple Unified Growth Theory," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-412, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    12. Oded Galor, 2012. "The demographic transition: causes and consequences," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, January.
    13. Ratbek Dzhumashev & Ainura Tursunalieva, 2016. ""Keeping up with the Joneses" and fertility choice," Monash Economics Working Papers 30-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    14. Jonathan J. ADAMS, 2022. "Urbanization, Long-run Growth, and the Demographic Transition," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 31-37, March.
    15. Liu, Xiying, 2015. "Optimal population and policy implications," ISU General Staff Papers 201501010800005546, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    16. Bloom, D.E. & Luca, D.L., 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 3-56, Elsevier.
    17. Sunde, Uwe & Cervellati, Matteo, 2007. "Human Capital, Mortality and Fertility: A Unified Theory of the Economic and Demographic Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Desire And Development," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(7), pages 2717-2747, October.
    19. Francesco C. Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 209, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    20. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2012. "Barro-Becker with Credit Frictions," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35531, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:86623. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: LSERO Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.