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Fertility and Public PolicyHow to Reverse the Trend of Declining Birth Rates$
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Noriyuki Takayama and Martin Werding

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014519

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014519.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2021

Fertility and Social Policy

Fertility and Social Policy

(p.182) (p.183) 8 Fertility and Social Policy
Fertility and Public Policy

Jonathan Bradshaw

Shalhevet Atar-Schwart

The MIT Press

This chapter reviews several theories and conceptual frameworks and uses them to further explain fertility, and how policy may or may not have certain impacts on fertility rates. Among these are the rational choice theory, risk aversion theory, gender equity theory, and postmaterialist values theory. Each one is used to try and explain the relationship between fertility and social policy, and although governments believe that national-level policies have discernible effects, the evidence is weak and too minute. Pronatalist policies are explicitly not effective, and a national ethos around children might prove to be more effective in improving fertility. Increased female labor and at the same time a more equitable distribution of domestic labor of men and women, on the other hand, is suggested to eventually lead to higher levels of fertility.

Keywords:   rational choice theory, risk aversion theory, gender equity theory, postmaterialist values theory, fertility, social policy, pronatalist policies, national ethos, female labor

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