Monday, October 25, 2010

Do Incentives Affect Fertility? The Case of Quebec

Quebec has been experiencing lower-than-average birthrates for some time. Going back to 1997, the porvincial government has attempted to increase birthrates, the number of monthers returning to the labor force and fathers' involvement in child rearing through a set of policies grouped under the rubric of "Family Policy." A recent episode of the Current discusses these policies and their effects. From the episode:
The Quebec Government is pulling out all the stops for parents these days. If you're a working couple with two children in Ottawa, you'll probably pay 80 to 100 dollars-a-day for childcare. Across the river in Gatineau, Quebec ... you'd pay 14-dollars-a-day. You'd get better parental leave too. There's even a special leave just for Dads. And as of last month, if you're infertile, the Quebec Government will cover the cost of In Vitro Fertilization.

The Quebec Government has spent 13 years overhauling its Family Policy. The goal has been to boost two demographics ... new births and working women. As part of our project Shift, our Quebec Producer Susan McKenzie decided to take a look at whether the program has worked and whether it's sustainable. We aired her documentary, Baby Bump.

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