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Michael Teitelbaum

  • Singapore’s plea to its people: Won’t you please have more children?

    January 30, 2017

    ...For the Singaporean government, Lim and Ms. Foo’s indifference about child rearing is at the heart of a complex demographics trend it’s desperate to reverse. Singapore’s fertility rate is among the 10 lowest in the world. The average number of births per woman in 2015 was 1.24, according to government statistics. That’s well below the replacement rate of 2.1, the number of babies generally required to maintain a country’s current population level...Governments across the world, from Denmark to Japan, are struggling to come to terms with shrinking populations, and the implications for everything from supporting aging populations to growing the economy. But Singapore’s all-out approach stands out as one of the most ambitious. “If anybody is going to get it right, I would guess it’s going to be Singapore,” says Michael Teitelbaum, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., and coauthor of a book on global fertility decline. “That doesn’t mean it will be easy.”

  • Fecund foreigners?

    April 29, 2016

    ...Xenophobes and xenophiles share a belief in the fecundity of newcomers...The fertile immigrant is partly an illusion. Women tend not to move country with babies in tow, explains Gunnar Andersson of Stockholm University: they travel first and then have a child quickly. That makes them seem keener on babies than they really are. Partly, too, the countries that send migrants to the rich world have changed, points out Michael Teitelbaum, a demographer at Harvard Law School. Fertility rates have plunged in both Mexico and Turkey, from more than six children per woman in 1960 to less than three today.

  • H-1B Under Scrutiny

    October 22, 2015

    The H-1B guest worker visa program has been coming under scrutiny lately. The program is important to colleges both in terms of their ability to hire postdocs and other researchers from abroad and, more indirectly, in providing a pathway for the international students they recruit to work in the U.S. after graduation...“The only reason it would be a good idea from a national interest perspective is if indeed there were a shortage of such people, but I don’t think there’s any evidence of that except in some small fields, or fast-growing fields,” said Michael S. Teitelbaum, a senior research associate at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. Teitelbaum is the author of Falling Behind: Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent, in which he argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no evidence of a generalized shortage of STEM workers in the U.S.

  • The Truth About the Migrant Crisis

    September 15, 2015

    An op-ed by Michael Teitelbaum. As the world watches wave after wave of migrants and refugees pour into and across Europe, what was once shocking now seems routine. There can be no doubt that a major crisis, both humanitarian and political, is under way...As they consider responses to these challenges, European government, advocacy, and media leaders need to keep in mind two important concepts: tragic choices and moral hazards.

  • Is the U.S. Focusing Too Much on STEM?

    December 3, 2014

    ...STEM can sometimes be an overused buzzword, the negative impacts of which are felt by students who don’t get a quality, well-rounded education. But in general its hype is justified because students simply need greater scientific and technological literacy than they did before to function in today’s society and economy. “Anything that gets this kind of buzzword character tends to lose some of its real meaning in the process,” said Michael Teitelbaum, a senior research associate with the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and author of the new book Falling Behind? Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent.

  • Claims of a shortage of STEM workers a myth? (video)

    September 30, 2014

    Harvard Law School Labor and Worklife Program’s Michael Teitelbaum on the impact of immigration policy on the U.S. job market.