Fertility and public policies : evidence from Norway and Finland
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDemographic Research, Vol. 10, Art.6, May 2004, 141-170, DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2004.10.6 http://dx.doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2004.10.6
Below replacement fertility in many countries has lead to a renewed public interest in policies that may encourage young people to have more children. The Nordic countries are sometimes in focus in this respect, as their fertility rates remain relatively high in spite of very high female labour force participation. The key question is therefore whether there is a connection between generous public policies that facilitate childbearing and employment, and fertility. Using Norway as example and reviewing existing research evidence I conclude that generous family policies may be necessary, but not sufficient, to sustain fertility at a reasonable level. In particular, adverse macroeconomic conditions and rising unemployment have counteracting effects, as demonstrated by falling fertility rates in Sweden in the mid-1990s.
With permission from Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2004.10.10