"Uptick in Vasectomies Seen as Sign of Recession" reads the New York Times' headline. My first thought was, ummm...come again? Sure kids are expensive, but so are vasectomies and if incomes are tight why should there be an increase? Should they not see a decrease and less expensive alternatives like condoms see a big increase? I didn't think most insurance covered an elective surgery like this. Besides, as retirement accounts crash, and with future social security payouts likely to go down, children are a good form of old-age insurance, right?
Well, no it turns out. Most insurance does pay, or so claims the reporter, and in our society the present discounted value of the cost of kids is surely much higher than the expected present discounted value of the insurance aspect. So perhaps this is evidence of recession effects - kids as luxury goods, you might say.
However the cost (in terms of money, time and discomfort) seems really low and it strikes me that perhaps this has seen a big change in recent years which would, of course, lead to an increase in quantity demanded. Is this true? Anyone?
I am not ready to accept the hypothesis of the article, but it is an interesting theory...