The Global Spread of Fertility Decline Population, Fear, and Uncertainty Jay Winter, Michael Teitelbaum

Publication date:
18 Jun 2013
Yale University Press
344 pages: 235 x 156 x 29mm
24 b-w illus.
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The world's population has grown by five billion people over the past century, an astounding 300 percent increase. Yet it is actually the decline in family size and population growth that is the issue attracting greatest concern in many countries. This eye-opening book looks at demographic trends in Europe, North America, and Asia—areas that now have low fertility rates—and argues that there is an essential yet often neglected political dimension to a full assessment of these trends. Political decisions that promote or discourage marriage and childbearing, facilitate or discourage contraception and abortion, and stimulate or restrain immigration all have played significant roles in recent trends.

Jay Winter is the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University.  Michael Teitelbaum is Wertheim Fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program of Harvard Law School and  a Senior Advisor at the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in New York.  Together and separately they have written numerous scholarly works on history, politics, and sociology.

 “Interesting, informative and timely . . . fascinating reading, covering diverse settings with special attention to fertility and international migration.”—Joseph Chamie, former Director of the United Nations Population Division

The Global Spread of Fertility Decline is a masterful analysis of declining fertility and rising migration during the second great wave of globalization since 1980. Winter and Teitelbaum emphasize the importance of political elements in explaining why fertility is falling in many countries and migration is rising. In both cases, policies affect the risks perceived by families and migrants and their decisions about whether to have children or migrate.”—Philip Martin, UC Davis

"The claim that politics matters (not everywhere and at all times) is given ample support throughout the volume. Anyone interested in how it figures in a big picture of key facets of contemporary demography—be it low fertility, immigration, or something else—would find perusing the book rewarding. It certainly has a potential of serving as an inspiration for studies on other countries or regions of the same nature."—Miroslav Macura, IDEMO University of Geneva