One way to encourage births (in small countries)

by on March 30, 2009 at 7:19 am in Religion | Permalink

Or is it just intertemporal substitution?:

Two years after having one of the lowest birth rates in the
world, Georgia [the country] is enjoying something of a baby boom, following an
intervention from the country's most senior cleric.

the end of 2007, in a move to reverse the Caucasian country's dwindling
birth figures, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia
II, came up with an incentive. He promised to personally baptise any
baby born to parents of more than two children.

There was only one catch: the baby had to be born after the initiative was launched.

The results are, in the words of the Georgian Orthodox Church, "a miracle".

…The country's birth rate increased by nearly 20% during 2008 – a rate four times faster than the previous year.

Many parents say they took the decision to have another child on the basis of the Patriarch's incentive.

Here is the full article and I thank John Chilton for the pointer.

1 ck March 30, 2009 at 7:28 am

Link, please!

2 Zamfir March 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

At first I read “babysit” instead of “baptise”

3 Farmer March 30, 2009 at 9:13 am

a blessing by an orthodox primate as equal to years of frustration, 529’s and braces? I suspect this is an overdetermined result. Places also tend to have high birthrates after wars or dramatic social change, of which Gruzia has both. I don’t know how you spell”baby boom” in in Cyrillic, but I bet this might be more likely

4 athelas March 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

Is a baptism worth more than a cash subsidy?

5 Phil P March 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

Sounds to me like a case of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Wait, I just read the article. I see there’s hard data:

“Many parents say they took the decision to have another child on the basis of the Patriarch’s incentive.”

I apologise.

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