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Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses

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  • Joëlle Sleebos

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 ...

Suggested Citation

  • Joëlle Sleebos, 2003. "Low Fertility Rates in OECD Countries: Facts and Policy Responses," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 15, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:15-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/568477207883
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    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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