Abstract for: Interrelations Between Demography and Economy: The Decline of Fertility Rate, an Analysis With System Dynamics

The main aim of this paper is to study the impact on birth rate of specific public policies: subsidies to chilbearing and public consumption. The analysis is framed in an developed economy in which fertility choices and economic decisions are interconnected. In particular, the study relies on overlapping generations, habit formation in consumption and endogenous fertility rate. This last factor is directly explained by the preference for children, the economic capacity of young people and the stylized fact of unemployment. The outcome is a versatile system dynamics model that is adapted for the Portuguese economy from 2000 to 2011. Two counterfactual exercises differentiated from the employment distribution but with identical alternatives of public spending are implemented in the simulation model. The results show two divergent aspects: the births do not vary if the public consumption increases but, the births increase when the costs of childrearing are subsidized even if the public consumption is high. These results also indicate that the subsidies are not sufficient to curb the decreasing trend of births. In addition to them, it is required a sustainable economic growth. Key words: Fertility, Consumption, Unemployment, System Dynamics, Simulation