NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 8, 2008

If you are a woman of childbearing age in a developing country, there's a good chance your government will pay you to reproduce at the currently desirable rate, says Kerry Howley of Reason. 

For example:

  • Russian women who have a second child receive a lump sum of 250,000 rubles (about U.S. $9,200).
  • Polish women receive 1,000 zloty (about U.S. $460) per child.
  • Couples in Sweden receive a combined 13 months of parental leave, 11 of which can be taken by one parent, and during which the government provides 80 percent of a parent's former income.
  • Swedish parents also collect 900 euros (about U.S. $1,410) per year; bosses then must allow their employees to work part time for prorated pay once they become parents.
  • In May 2004, the Australian government announced parents would begin receiving 3,000 Aussie dollars (about U.S. $2,800) for each new baby.

Singapore, a country with one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at 1.07, has launched a new baby-making campaign with the slogan of "Three or More."  To encourage procreation, Singapore's Social Development Unit (SDU) has adopted new policies:

  • The SDU offers a free government dating advisor who interviews young singles and matches them up with those who share similar interests; participants in the dating program even receive free makeovers and lectures on personal grooming.
  • First and second children in Singapore bring in baby bonuses of 3,000 Singapore dollars (about U.S. $2,200) each, while third and fourth children garner 6,000 Singapore dollars (about U.S. $4,400) each.
  • The government also matches parental investment in special children's savings accounts, which can be used for day care or other child-related expenses.

Source: Kerry Howley, "Baby Bust," Reason, July 2008.

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