The Korean Journal of Economic Studies
Did Pro-natal Policy in Korea Fail?: A Decomposition of Fertility Change from 2000 to 2016
Chulhee Lee (Seoul National University)Year 2018Vol. 66No. 3
The result of decomposition analysis of the change in total fertility rate(TFR) suggests that marital fertility substantially increased during the lastdecade after the government started to implement pro-natal policy measures in2005. The rise of marital fertility was offset by rapid decline in nuptiality (thefraction of women who are married). The results of panel fixed-effect modelestimations based on county-level data show that local characteristics related topro-natal policies (such as the allowance for newborn children and availabilityof child care facilities) promoted marital fertility, whereas they were negativelyrelated to the marriage rates of single individuals. These results cast doubts onthe general consensus that the pro-natal policies since 2005 entirely failed. Theincrease in marital fertility, the major aim of the government policies,contributed to keep TFR from plummeting to an extremely low level. Hadmarital fertility remained unchanged since 2005, TFR would have plunged to0.73 by 2016 because of the sharp decline in nuptiality.