Anna Rotkirch, research director at the Family Federation of Finland’s Population Research Institute [noted] “The strange thing with fertility is nobody really knows what’s going on. The policy responses are untried because it’s a new situation. It’s not primarily driven by economics or family policies. It’s something cultural, psychological, biological, cognitive.” Until recently, fertility decline was driven by families having fewer children than their parents and grandparents. Now the key dynamic is childlessness. In Finland, 3/4 of the recent decline in fertility is attributable to people who have no children. In the family barometer surveys, among Finns born in the late 1970s and 1980s, fewer than one in twenty said at the age of 25 that they didn’t want to have children. Among those born in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that proportion rose to nearly one in four. Nearly 40% of Finnish men with low education are now childless at the age of 45 (and probably for life): a “huge” proportion. Most have no partners. Men are as likely as women to say they want children but are more likely to be childless.
- Date Posted:
- January 29, 2024
I computed the cost of capital for the 47,698 companies in my data universe at the start of 2024. I provide a distribution of corporate costs of capital, for US and global companies, in US dollars. At the start of 2024, the median cost of capital is 7.9% for a US company, lower than the 9.6% at the start of 2023, entirely because of declines in the price of risk (equity risk premiums and default spreads). The 2024 costs of capital are higher than the historic lows of 5.8% for US stocks at the start of 2022. In short, if you are a company or an investor who works with fixed hurdle rates over time, you may be using a rationale that you are just normalizing, but you have about as much chance of being right as a broken clock.