Demographic Doom Podcast

Government Birth Incentives: Why They Don’t Work

January 27, 2020

Governments around the world, desperate to raise their birth rates, are offering incentives to parents to make more babies. These can range for one-time cash bonuses to complex parental support systems like subsidized childcare. None of these systems seem to be working. For example, Sweden, which is doing everything right to encourage childbirth, has a fertility rate similar to the USA, which is doing little to support its parents. The core problem with any incentive program is that nothing a government can offer comes anywhere close to the true costs of parenthood. Such incentives may even have the perverse effect of encouraging the wrong kind of people to have children. — Also see DemographicDoom.com — Instagram & Twitter: @DemographicDoom — See episode notes and comments on the video version at j.mp/dd_incentives [ep 26]