Matthias Doepke, Fabian Kindermann, 03 May 2016

Europe is in the midst of a major demographic crisis, with many countries facing ultra-low fertility rates. This column uses survey data from 19 European countries to show how low fertility can be traced to disagreement within couples about having babies. In low-fertility countries, it is usually the women who bear most of the burden of childbearing, and who veto having more babies. Fertility can be raised by policies that specifically lower cost to women of childcare, whereas general subsidies for childbearing are much less effective.

Richard Zeckhauser, Karen Eggleston, John Rizzo, Hai Fang, 05 June 2010

Understanding the relationship between female employment and fertility is a vital ingredient for effective population policy. This column presents new findings from China based on well over 2000 women between 20 and 52 years old. It finds that non-agricultural jobs for women reduce the number of children per woman by 0.64 and the probability of having more than one child by 54.8%.

Yishay Maoz, Matthias Doepke, Moshe Hazan, 08 September 2008

Europe faces a fertility crisis, but not for the first time. The 1930s saw a similar situation but fertility recovered in the 1950s. This column assesses the historical lessons. The news is not good. Recent research shows that the post-war baby boom happened because young women were denied opportunities in the labour market due to discrimination and competition with older women who acquired job experience during the war.

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