Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, February 07, 2005

Declining Fertility in Iran

I posted earlier about the declining birth rates in Japan and other developed countries, but look at the dramatic change that has taken place in Iran (from the BBC [Thanks to Jack for the pointers here]):

In the 10 years from 1976 to 1986, the population rose by 50%, from 33
million to 50 million. At that rate, the census for the year 2006 would have registered 108 million Iranians.

During Iran's war with Iraq, there were strong incentives to increase the population. But in the late 1980s, the situation changed, according to this source:

Iran's population growth rate dropped from an all-time high of 3.2 percent in 1986 to just 1.2 percent in 2001, one of the fastest drops ever

... From 1986 to 2001, Iran's total fertility--the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime--plummeted from seven to less than three. The United Nations projects that by 2010 total fertility will drop to two, which is replacement-level fertility.

The primary tools for bringing about this change have included greatly increased support for family planning, subsidized condoms and other contraceptives or vasectomies, and reduced bonus payments for larger families.

After all, people respond to incentives. But you knew I was going to say that.
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