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Population control policies and fertility convergence

de Silva, Tiloka and Tenreyro, Silvana (2017) Population control policies and fertility convergence. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (4). pp. 205-228. ISSN 0895-3309

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Identification Number: 10.1257/jep.31.4.205

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

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/journals/jep
Additional Information: © 2017 American Economic Association
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J11 - Demographic Trends and Forecasts
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J18 - Public Policy
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 16:02
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 12:23
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86623

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