Whither the Child? Causes and Consequences of Low Fertility

Paradigm Publishers

Birth rates are falling and fertility rates are well below replacement levels. At the same time, the economic crisis has forced governments to scale back public spending, reduce child support, and raise the retirement age, causing immense social conflict.

Taking a step outside the disciplinary comfort zone, Whither the Child? asks how demography affects individuals and society. What does it feel like to live in a low-fertility world? What are the consequences? Is there even a problem—economically, culturally, and morally? No other book confronts so many dimensions of the low-fertility issue, and none engage with the thorny issues of child psychology, parenting, family, and social policy that are tackled head-on here. The editors have gathered together (from the 2010 STI Experts Meeting of the same name) a collection of essays that tackle these issues head-on. Both a paperback and a Lib Ebook are available from Paradigm Publishers.


Alícia Adserà – Princeton University
Fertility, Feminism and Faith:  The Influence of Secularism and Economic Conditions

David J. Eggebeen – Pennsylvania State University
The Social and Civic Consequences of Parenthood for Adults 

Hans-Peter Kohler – University of Pennsylvania
Do Children Bring Happiness and Purpose in Life?
Elizabeth Marquardt – Institute for American Values
Gift or Commodity: How Ought We to Think About Children?

Susan E. Short, Hongwei Xu, and Ying Liu – Brown University
Little Emperors? Growing Up in China after the One-Child Policy

W. Bradford Wilcox – University of Virginia, and Jeffrey Dew – Utah State University
Before, During and After the Baby Carriage: The Division of Family Labor and Wives’ Contemporary Marital Satisfaction

Eric Kaufmann – University of London
Sacralization by Stealth? The Religious Consequences of Low Fertility in Europe

Leonard Schoppa – University of VIrginia
Feminism as the New Natalism: Trenty-First Century Prescriptions for Addressing Low Fertility

Catherine Hakim – Center for Policy Studies, London
What do Women Really Want? Designing Family Policies for All Women

Wolfgang Lutz – Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Future of Fertility: Future Trends in Family Size among Low-Fertility Populations