What is the right dose of capitalism?


Capitalism is associated with lowered fertility rates, a 180 country strong worldwide data set and cross sectional correlation studies as well as historic examples outline.  Hallmark pillars of capitalism are all negatively associated with fertility rates.  The inverse relation of economic freedom and fertility was also found for 50 U.S. states based on the 2017 Economic Freedom Index and fertility rates in the United States.  The historic examples of communism imploding giving way to free market mechanisms but also an Islamic regime changing towards a Western free market approach captures capitalism to crowd out fertility in a meta-analysis.

Industrialization, globalization and capitalism lead to vanishing populations.  Being occupied by production and consumption but also the entertainment of capitalist markets, economic mobility and international trade may distract societies to prosper regarding fertility.  Focus on competing in markets may crowd out procreation.  Equilibria und markets may have an undocumented negative effect on fertility.  Unruled capitalism may therefore lead to a falling rate of fertility, decimating the populace and eventually also the reserve pool of economic agents.

The project concludes with proposals how to use this novel insights as

(1) birth control mechanism in those parts of the world, where overpopulation is currently pressing governments to find ways how to lower the fertility rate and

(2) means to avert the falling rate of fertility in capitalist societies with a shrinking population in the light of an aging Western world population.

Graph 1 outlines the spectrum of capitalistic-low fertility countries versus non capitalistic-high fertility territories

Infusing capitalistic market freedoms as birth control in overpopulated, non-market economies but also taxing capitalist activities to fund parenthood through direct investment in social benefits and subsidies to alleviate the falling rate of fertility in the eye of capitalism in aging, shrinking populations is recommended concurrently, depending on the starting level on the overpopulation versus underpopulation spectrum.

Capitalistic-low fertility countries are advised to curb capitalism via taxation of superfirms in order to fund parenthood through direct investment and social benefits subsidizing parenthood.

Non capitalistic-high fertility territories should focus on adopting free market structures and capitalism but with attention to sustainability and renewable resources.

Revealing the found mechanism has also implications for advocacy to strengthen fertility and the intergenerational glue in light of vanishing populations in the Western world. 

In addition, the findings have innovative and futuristic implications in the age of artificial intelligence.  Robotics and artificial intelligence slowly taking over human capital labor activities but not being able to reproduce a human DNA is argued to increase the future value of humanness – and with that human fertility – in the artificial age.


Conference Presentations:

Puaschunder, J.M. (2019). ‘Socio-Econo-Engineering: What is the right dose of capitalism regarding fertility? Recommendations how to use capitalism for population control and how to avert the falling rate of fertility in capitalist territories,’  Sixth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, September 24-25.


Invited participant, Workshop on ‘Science, Technology and Economic Policy,’ National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, invited by the Harvard Laboratory for Innovation Sciences at The Keck Center for the National Academies, Washington DC, USA, May 29, 2019.

Puaschunder, J.M. (2019). ‘Socio-econo-engineering: What Is the Right Dose of Capitalism Regarding Fertility? Recommendations How to Use Capitalism for Population Control and How to Avert the Falling Rate of Fertility in Capitalist Territories,’ Western Social Science Association Annual Conference, San Diego, California, USA, April 25.

Puaschunder, J.M. (2019). ‘Socio-Econo-Engineering: What Is the right dose of capitalism regarding fertility? Recommendations how to use capitalism for population control and how to avert the falling rate of fertility in capitalist territories,’ 45th Annual Eastern Economic Association Conference, New York Sheraton, New York, New York, United States, March 1.


Community Service: 

Scientific Advisory Board, Finance, Risk and Accounting Perspectives (FRAP) Conference on ‘The Fintech Revolution – Sustainability meets Technology in Finance, Risk and Accounting’ of the Oxford Academic Research Network (ACRN), Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland, European Union, September 23-29, 2019.

General Conference Chair, Puaschunder, J.M. (2019). International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities organized by Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (RAIS) at The Erdman Center at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States, April 3-4.

Member of the International Program Committee, Associate Editor, Conference Minisymposium on ‘Sustainable Development and Climate Stabilization Modelling’ Chair, 9th Vienna Conference on Mathematical Modelling, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria, European Union, February 21-23, 2018.