IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic consequences of low fertility in Europe


  • Bloom, David E.
  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso


This paper focuses on possible economic consequences of low fertility in Europe. It summarizes a selection of papers that were presented at a conference at the University of St. Gallen in April 2008. This introduction also reviews the history of falling fertility in Europe and the literature that explores its causes, its potential implications, and possible policy responses. It summarizes the evolution of thinking about the relationship between population growth and economic development, with attention to recent work on the mechanisms through which fertility decline can spur economic growth if the necessary supporting conditions are met. The paper also identifies some of the challenges of population aging that are associated with low fertility and suggests that there may be less reason for alarm than has been suggested by some observers.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2010. "Economic consequences of low fertility in Europe," FZID Discussion Papers 11-2010, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:112010

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Pia N. Malaney, 1999. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," CID Working Papers 15, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    2. John Bongaarts, 2002. "The End of the Fertility Transition in the Developed World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 419-443.
    3. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler & Gunnar Andersson & Hans Lundström, 2007. "Approaching the Limit: Long-Term Trends in Late and Very Late Fertility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(1), pages 149-170.
    4. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "Global demographic change : dimensions and economic significance," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 9-56.
    5. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
    7. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Michael Moore & Younghwan Song, 2007. "The Effect of Subjective Survival Probabilities on Retirement and Wealth in the United States," Chapters,in: Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Tomáš Sobotka & Laurent Toulemon, 2008. "Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(6), pages 85-138, July.
    9. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    10. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    11. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2008. "Population Aging and Economic Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 28027.
    12. Zamac, Jovan & Hallberg, Daniel & Lindh, Thomas, 2008. "Low fertility and long run growth in an economy with a large public sector," Arbetsrapport 2008:11, Institute for Futures Studies.
    13. 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.
    14. World Demographic and Ageing Forum & Robert L. Clark & Makoto Kondo & Rikiya Matsurka, 2009. "Population Decline, Labor Force Stability,and the Future of the Japanese Economy," Journal Article y:2009:i:1, World Demographic and Ageing Forum.
    15. Tomas Frejka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 2: Parity distribution and completed family size in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(4), pages 47-72, July.
    16. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
    17. Paul R. Ehrlich, 2008. "Demography and Policy: A View from Outside the Discipline," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(1), pages 103-113.
    18. Tomas Frejka & Tomáš Sobotka & Jan M. Hoem & Laurent Toulemon, 2008. "Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(2), pages 5-14, July.
    19. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    20. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2009. "The Cost of Low Fertility in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. John Bryant, 2007. "Theories of Fertility Decline and the Evidence from Development Indicators," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(1), pages 101-127.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Ana-Maria AMARIEI (COJOCARIU), 2015. "Comparative Analyses Of Fertility Evolution In Iasi County," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 7(2), pages 224-231, August.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:zbw:fziddp:112010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.