Monday, January 25, 2021

The Failure of Government Birth Incentives ⸻ A Tweet Essay by Glenn Campbell

Below is an unformatted transcript of my Tweet Essay on "Failure of Incentives", based on this Original Tweet Thread (#de_incentives). Also see my Master Index of Tweet Essays.

Go to the original thread to use links.

⦕  Failure of Incentives ⦖ #de_incentives

πŸ‘‰My claim: Economic incentives will have little effect on low birth rates. You can't bribe people into having more babies.

πŸ‘ΆπŸ“‰ + πŸ’° = πŸ‘ΆπŸ“‰ 

Explored in a #dd_TweetEssay 🧡⇩

πŸ•ΊπŸ» #dd_incentives #dd_BabyBust #dd_d #dd_e

➤ This 🧡 was prompted by an article in an official πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³#dd_cn news source. A professor laments the Chinese demographic crisis and offers the usual platitudes. Article

His suggestion: Maybe the birth crisis can be "solved" with tax breaks for parents.

Um, no. 🀦

➤ Government #dd_incentives for baby-making can take the form of—

① Tax breaks

② Direct cash payments ("baby bonus")

③ Subsidized daycare and other family-friendly services.

Nearly all such "solutions" require tons of πŸ’° that most governments don't have.

➤ Incentives don't work because people aren't dumb. Given the huge costs, risks and lost freedom of raising a child, anything the government can offer is a pittance.

What might work: Paying mothers a full salary for childrearing. But no government can afford that.

➤ Anyone who WAS swayed by a financial incentive might not be an appropriate parent.

e.g. πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί#dd_RU offers a $8K bonus for a 2nd child. What is to prevent parents doing it for the money and neglecting the child thereafter?

➤ Evidence that incentives work is dubious, because there is no control group. There is only cherrypicking coincidences.

e.g. Incentive offered in 2013; birth rates rose in 2014

There's no proof one caused the other.

If rates fell in 2014, the government would have kept quiet.

➤ Couples who were ALREADY planning to have a second πŸ‘Ά are happy to take the government's money, but there is little evidence that the incentive actually changed anyone's mind.

➤ Here is my 3-minute video on the subject from 2017:

"Do government incentives improve birth rates?"

Filmed at Wayside Inn, Sudbury #dd_usMA

πŸ•ΊπŸ» #ddv_incentives #dd_incentives #dd_video

➤ My January 2020 podcast episode on Government Birth Incentives (Episode 26, 25 min)

πŸ•ΊπŸ» #ddpc26 #dd_incentives #dd_d #dd_video #dd_audio #dd_BabyBust 🌎 #BabyBonus #BirthIncentives #BirthIncentive #ChildTaxCredit

➤ My 8-minute video from January 2017: "Can better government services improve birth rates?"

Talking about child care, etc.

Man dancing #ddv_childcare #dd_incentives #dd_childcare #dd_f

➤ πŸ”Ž All my past Twitter mention of "Incentives"

Many articles on various government efforts to encourage births. Quite a collection! (Includes some unrelated #dd_perverse incentives.)

Standard hashtag: #dd_incentives πŸ‘΄#ddoom_incentives 

➤ The useless attempts continue...

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ Chinese government to create a “good matchmaking environment" 🀦 Article

πŸ•ΊπŸ» #dd_incentives #dd_cn #dd_scmp

➤ πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ One thing China could do that other countries can't is abduct women, inseminate them and force them to have babies. The children could be raised in ☭#BabyFarm's.

I wish I could say they would never do a thing like that, but their track record suggests they are capable.

➤ Short of forced childbearing, any incentive program is likely to fail in China like it has failed everywhere else.

➤ πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³πŸ‘ΆπŸ­ #BabyFactories are real in China, but they are criminal enterprises producing babies for adoption. No indication yet of state sponsorship. Daily Mail Article

πŸ•ΊπŸ» #dd_babyfarm #dd_adoption #dd_dailymail #dd_cn #dd_d 🌎 #BabyFarm #BabyFactory

{Formatting completed: 
{This blog post referenced in Tweet essay: 1/25/21}
{This blog post backed up to email: 1/25/21}
{This blog post visual backup to Twitter: 1/25/21}