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Lopoo, Wolf cited in The Atlantic article on declining fertility rates

The Atlantic

Leonard Lopoo headshot

Leonard M. Lopoo

Douglas A. Wolf

Douglas A. Wolf

The total fertility rate is at an all-time low in the United States. Countries depend on stable or growing populations to maintain their tax bases, workforces, and elder-support programs which means this decline will eventually cause problems for the U.S. Other countries’ experiences suggest that as people get used to having two or fewer children, even significant financial support might not be enough to incentivize them to have more. The experiences of developed countries, taken together, suggest that small cash transfers or short parental leaves are unlikely to significantly increase fertility rates, says Leonard Lopoo, Maxwell Advisory Board Professor of Public Policy. Benefits that remove significant financial obstacles—the cost of child care, medical bills for prenatal care and giving birth, or college tuition—and prevent parents from having to leave their jobs are most likely to persuade someone to have a child, he says. Lopoo was interviewed for The Atlantic article, "The Danger of Shortchanging Parents."

"Fiscal Externalities of Becoming a Parent," a study co-authored by Douglas Wolf, Gerald B. Cramer Professor of Aging Studies, was also cited in the article (linked in the sixth paragraph). 04/26/21