That is what I say to my mates who have more than two kids…i am always joking…but it seems like many things it has some basis in fact.
India‚Äôs population will overtake China‚Äôs by 2021, putting a huge strain on resources and public services. And though the country‚Äôs overall birth rate has fallen a lot, it‚Äôs still¬†explosive in rural areas¬†(pdf).
So how to get rural women to have fewer children? As we just discussed,¬†coercive sterilization¬†is probably not the best way to go. But things you might expect to bring the birth rate down, like higher female literacy or urbanization, don‚Äôt necessarily seem to do so,¬†as Stanford professor¬†Martin Lewis explains.¬†
However, there‚Äôs one kinda bizarre thing that does correlate with lower fertility: cable TV.
Over a three-year period, academics Robert Jensen and Emily Oster researched rural villages in five Indian states. They found that once the village got cable TV access,¬†fertility declined within a year¬†(pdf)
Apparently this is also evidenced in Brazil:
This has happened elsewhere too. Fertility dropped markedly as more and more¬†Brazilian villages got on the cable grid¬†(pdf) from 1970 to 1999, according to research by academics Eliana La Ferrara, Alberto Chong, and Suzanne Duryea. Here‚Äôs how birth rates declined in Brazil over the years that cable availability spread.