Can Assisted Reproductive Technologies Help to Offset Population Ageing?

An Assessment of the Demographic and Economic Impact of ART in Denmark and UK

Published in: Human Reproduction, v. 22, No. 9, Sep. 2007, p. 2471-2475

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Stijn Hoorens, Federico Gallo, Jonathan Cave, Jonathan Grant

Read More

Access further information on this document at humrep.oxfordjournals.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Governments worldwide are searching for ways to cope with ageing populations as the demographic shift towards fewer and later births takes hold. The potential contribution of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to increasing fertility rates has not yet been explored. This paper describes a preliminary study into the impact ART policies might have on population ageing. A deterministic model is developed to quantify the effects of ART policies on total fertility rate (TFR), and tested using data from the UK and Denmark. The population structure for 2050 is modelled to translate fertility rates into time-dependent population dynamics, and the costs of potential ART policies are investigated. If access to ART in the UK were increased to the level of Denmark, the TFR would increase by 0.04, from 1.64 to 1.68. The cumulative effect on the population structure would be a 1.7% decrease in old-age dependency ratio in 2050. Although the empirical models do not include behavioural components, the results demonstrate that ART does have potential to contribute to TFR and influence population structure, and that the direct costs associated with adopting ART as a population policy are comparable with those of existing policies commonly used by governments to influence fertility.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.