Does Birth Control Improve Economic Growth in Developing Countries?

Kaixing Huang , Nankai university

National family planning programs have swept much of the developing world since the 1960s. Although the main motivation of these programs has been to enhance economic growth by reducing population growth, empirical evidence on their effectiveness is extremely scarce. Depending on the unique data from China’s 30-year-old one-child policy, the current article examines the effect of birth control on economic growth. After addressing endogeneity and accounting for dynamic effects, we find evidence in contrast to the motivation of family planning programs: Birth control has hindered China’s economic growth, and the total loss of this amounts to 5.6 trillion U.S. dollars.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course