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Population policies in advanced societies: pronatalist and migration strategies.

Authors
  • Hohn, C
Type
Published Article
Journal
European journal of population = Revue europeenne de demographie
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1988
Volume
3
Issue
3-4
Pages
459–481
Identifiers
PMID: 12158953
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper gives examples of pronatalist and migration policies adopted by several European countries, and evaluates their effectiveness: migration is the only practical means of preventing population stagnation. The pronatalist policies of France, German Democratic Republic, Hungary and Romania range from a system of family support so complicated that a special bureau has been set up to interpret it in France, through increasing benefits such as paid maternity leave in GDR, to an inconsistent support system in Hungary to coercive measures in Romania. In 1966 Romania severely restricted abortion and divorce, and even screened working women for pregnancy to prevent abortion. It has been estimated that the effect of these policies has been marginal and temporary: 0.2-0.3 children per woman in France, 0.1 in GDR, and 0.2 in Romania. Childbearing fell to former levels rapidly in Romania, probably a result of illegal abortion. Probably other social policies, such as housing infrastructure and child-care facilities, affect childbearing as much or more so than pronatalist measures. The migration policies of the United Kingdom, Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland are described. Most have varied over the years, entailing several rationales, such as humanitarianism, recruitment of workers, providing asylum to refugees, as well as maintaining population levels. Success of policies depends on economic conditions, social tensions regarding integration of foreigners and naturalization policies. Pronatalist policies in general are not very effective unless extremely costly and continuous, but they do provide social justice for parents. The solution to prevent harsh changes in population age structure is ultimately to allow migration from less developed countries. To make either of these policies effective, emancipation of (especially male) parents, and education of people about other cultures will be required.

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