Economics at your fingertips  

Can Policies Stall the Fertility Fall? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi‐) Experimental Literature

Janna Bergsvik, Agnes Fauske and Rannveig Kaldager Hart

Population and Development Review, 2021, vol. 47, issue 4, 913-964

Abstract: In the course of the twentieth century, social scientists and policy analysts have produced a large volume of literature on whether policies boost fertility. This paper describes the results of a systematic review of the literature on the effects of policy on fertility since 1970 in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Empirical studies were selected through extensive systematic searches, including studies using an experimental or quasi‐experimental design. Thirty‐five studies were included, covering reforms of parental leave, childcare, health services, and universal child transfers. In line with previous reviews, we find that childcare expansions increase completed fertility, while increased cash transfers have temporary effects. New evidence on parental leave expansions, particularly from Central Europe, suggests larger effects than previously established. High‐earning couples benefit more from parental leave expansions, while expanding childcare programs can reduce social inequalities on other domains. Subsidizing assisted reproductive treatments shows some promise of increasing birth rates for women over the age of 35. Countries that to date have limited support for families can build on solid evidence if they choose to expand these programs.

Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0098-7921

Access Statistics for this article

Population and Development Review is currently edited by Paul Demeny and Geoffrey McNicoll

More articles in Population and Development Review from The Population Council, Inc.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2022-12-17
Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:47:y:2021:i:4:p:913-964