I believe Robert (and others) is (are) onto something. If we look at having children as an (potential) old-age investment, then it is - in most dictaturships today - a very safe one (compaired to having land [zimbabwe] or money in the bank [argentina], etc etc.). In most democracies (capitalist countries) there are several other invcenstments with much higher pay-offs and much lower risks - in fact, one may argue that children have become a consumer good, rather than an investment.
That still leaves the low fertility in the soviet countries, but possibly this could be explained by the fact that your old age was actually "taken care of"... - Jacob Braestrup, Special Adviser > > In a message dated 7/14/03 9:52:40 PM, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes: > > > > >A few people seem to have skipped over the first sentence of my post. > > > > > >The article said that fertility rate is higher in dictatorships than in > > >democracies at *all income levels*. Meaning if you take any income level > > >and compare dictatorships and democracies in the same level, the > > >dictatorships will tend to have a higher fertility rate. > > > > Yes, this is why I've suggested the higher fertility rate may arise from > > attempts to escape the oppression through the joys of sex. > > > Right, and even if you assume access to birth control and the like, > there may still be non-sexual "joys of child-rearing" that can accruse > even under a dictatorship. > > More formally: In a dictatorship, the returns to non-child-rearing > activities are reduced more than the returns to child-rearing, so > child-rearing becomes relatively more attractive, so people do more of > it. > > In other words, yes of course I'd rather raise my kids in a democracy > than a dictatorship, just as I'd rather start a business (for example) > in a democracy than a dictatorship. But in a dictatorship, while my > child-rearing opportunities suffer, my business opportunities suffer > even more. > > I can't think of any reason why this couldn't be true at every level. > > Still, I agree with Marko that we can't be sure that the underlying > facts are true until we see how they treated the now-ex-communist > countries of Eastern Europe/USSR. I was under the impression that > fertility in the USSR and the Warsaw pact countries was very low, and > I think it's still very low in Russia. I think the Russian population > is decreasing. > > > --Robert Book > > > -- NeoMail - Webmail