May 5, 2006

Maternity leave in Germany to be increased to increase birth rate

The Germans want to give a year's maternity leave in an effort to increase their birth rate.

On Tuesday, German government ministers agreed to revamp support for new
parents, including a clause that rewards fathers who agree to stay home. Under
the agreement, either parent will be able to take a leave from their job for up
to one year and receive 67 percent of their wages up to $2,250 a month.

The logic escapes me. Does that mean that an inherently personal decision of having a child can be influenced by factors like a year's leave and wages? Funny, because I thought factors listed here are also important players in determining a country's birth rate.

Women's access to education, health care, family planning, and employment
all affect family size.