chapter  5
21 Pages

The Economy of Birthrates in the Czech Republic

WithRebecca Nash

This chapter explains the economy of birthrates in the Czech Republic and the continuity of demographic crisis. Distress over birthrates in the Czech Republic has remained consistent from the socialist (1948-1989) to the postsocialist (1989 to the present) eras. Birthing might work like the economy, the economy might influence birthrates, but legislators should make state resources available when families are affected and thus remedy influences of the market economy. Many Czechs drew on an economistic language when explaining that the economy both suffers from recent low birthrates and contributes to, and causes, further low population growth. Given the complexity of demographic discussions in the Czech Republic it is useful to investigate their full range of meanings. Reasonable behavior, it seemed, went hand in hand with, and facilitated, a successful transformation from a state-run economy to privatization despite falling birthrates. The chapter also describes contrasting metaphors of social reproduction and production socialism.