Do Fertility Trends Respond to Family Policies in OECD Countries?

Angela Luci, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Olivier Thevenon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

We examine the extent to which fertility trends respond to family policies in OECD countries. In the light of the recent fertility rebound observed in several OECD countries, we empirically test the impact of different family policy contexts on fertility, using data from 20 OECD countries that span the years 1982 to 2007. We test the robustness of our findings by controlling for birth postponement and for different national contexts, such as women’s economic empowerment, labor market insecurity, and the prevalence of traditional family norms. We apply advanced estimation methods for macroeconomic panel data (fixed-effects models, 2SLS, System GMM) to control for endogeneity, omitted variable bias, and non-stationarity. Our preliminary estimation results suggest that policies supporting the reconciliation between work and family are likely to increase fertility, while policies encouraging an interruption of work at childbirth will tend to restrain the fertility rebound.

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Presented in Session 20: Population Policy