The old-age security motive for fertility postulates that people's needs for old-age support raise the demand for children. We exploit the extension of social pensions in Namibia during the 1990s to provide a quasi-experimental quantification of this widespread idea. The reform eliminated inequalities in pension coverage and benefits across regions and ethnic groups. Combining differences in pre-reform pensions and differences in exposure across cohorts, we show that pensions substantially reduce fertility, especially in late reproductive life. The results suggest that improving social protection for the elderly could go a long way in fostering fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa.
Rossi, Pauline, and Mathilde Godard.
"The Old-Age Security Motive for Fertility: Evidence from the Extension of Social Pensions in Namibia."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Social Security and Public Pensions
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration