Demographers on family policy in Germany
Commenting on Doug Saunders’ article, discussed here earlier this week, Randy McDonald at Demography Matters compares Germany’s family policies to those in France. He concludes that if women are not given the opportunity to pursue both education/career and childbearing, large numbers of them will opt not to have children.
This growing body of research points towards a strong conclusion: if a developed country, or at least a country well advanced in the demographic transition, wants high cohort fertility, it has to support alternative family structures in such a way that women will have the autonomy necessary to combine participation in the work force with motherhood. Times have changed, and if any number of countries–Germany included–are to avoid very prolonged demographic winters they’re going to have to adapt.
I don’t know how much I care about ensuring population growth. I know that population decline has serious economic consequences, but I still came of age as an environmentalist. But I do think we should err towards policies that give women the greatest number of choices.
Demography Matters looks interesting throughout if you’re interested in fertility rates, demographic change, gender imbalances, etc.
(H/t to @DougSaunders.)