Economic aspects of Singapore's selective family planning policy.

Abstract

In the mid 1980s Singapore instituted a selective family planning policy which encouraged poorly educated women to prevent pregnancy while university graduates were discouraged from using family planning. The intent of this policy was to restructure the population and the economy into a more skill-intensive industrial society and to produce effective leaders for the future governing of the country. Monetary incentives were offered to both groups of women for their compliance with the policy, including grants to poor women agreeing to undergo steriliaztion. This study undertakes a cost benefit analysis of this family planning policy, taking into account parameters of economic growth, marginal value product of labor, and the consumption levels. Results of this analysis suggest that society may benefit more by prevention the birth of a potential university student than by preventing the birth of a potential primary school graduate. However, this study does not take into account the value of educated citizens in technical advancement which would raise the productivity of the uskilled workers in the country, nor some of the real economic conditions in Singapore such as the virtually unlimited availability of labor from other Asian countries (who come without dependents and are expatriated when they become unproductive). Training cost and the timing of benefits are critical to the outcome of this analysis. It is shown that, under some reasonable conditions, the selective family planning policy might not be economically warranted.

Cite this paper

@article{Evans1987EconomicAO, title={Economic aspects of Singapore's selective family planning policy.}, author={Daniel Berwick Evans}, journal={Asian and Pacific population forum}, year={1987}, volume={1 4}, pages={1-8} }