Oncofertility pp 371-379 | Cite as

Perspectives on Oncofertility from Demography and Economics

  • Rosalind Berkowitz KingEmail author
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 156)


The science of demography focuses on the drivers of population dynamics: fertility, mortality, and migration. Demography is inherently interdisciplinary and draws on theory from a range of social sciences, including sociology, economics, and anthropology. The demographers’ approach to fertility research at a given time is grounded in the contemporaneous fertility trends and fertility-related technology at the societal and individual levels. The science of contraception is well-documented, and the science of infertility is scant. Nevertheless, the sociological, economic, and anthropological concepts on which demographers have drawn to explain fertility patterns and contraceptive behavior can be usefully applied to infertility. Here, I begin to lay out how demographic theory and concepts from economics can shed light on questions of interest to researchers in the emerging field of oncofertility, the preservation of biological fertility in cancer patients.


Time Perspective Fertility Preservation Fertility Control Uncertainty Reduction Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the oncofertility consortium NIH 8UL1DE019587, 5RL1HD058296.


  1. 1.
    Hoorens S, Gallo F, Cave JAK, et al. Can assisted reproductive technologies help to offset population aging? An assessment of the demographic and economic impact of ART in Demark and UK: case report. Hum Reprod. 2007; 22:2471–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Potts M. Sex and the birth rate: human biology, demographic change, and access to fertility-regulation methods. Popul Dev Rev. 1997; 23:1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dye JL. Fertility of American Women: 2006. 2008. Available at: Accessed October 1, 2009.
  4. 4.
    Becker GS. A theory of the allocation of time. Econ J. 1965; 75:493–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grotevant HD. Connecting biology, personal identity, and law: an international view of adoption as a case study. Final Report from Project Funded by University of Minnesota Consortium of Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences, Minneapolis. 2005.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment and Counseling (PDQ®). National Cancer Institute. Available at: Accessed October 15, 2009.
  7. 7.
    Friedman D, Hechter M, Kanazawa S. A theory of the value of children. Demography. 1994; 31:375–401.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Giddens A. Modernity and self-identity: self and society in the late modern age. Stanford: Stanford University Press; 1991.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kahneman D, Tversky A. Prospect theory: an analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica. 1979; 47:263–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Blake J. Are babies consumer durables? A critique of the economic theory of reproductive motivation. Popul Stud. 1968; 22:5–25.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Becker GS. Treatise on the family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; 1981.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    DellaVigna S. Psychology and economics: evidence from the field. J Econ Lit. 2009; 47:315–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zimbardo PG, Boyd JN. Putting time in perspective: a valid, reliable individual differences metric. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1999; 77:1271–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Guthrie LC, Butler SC, Ward MM. Time perspective and socioeconomic status: a link to socioeconomic disparities in health? Soc Sci Med. 2009; 68:2145–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lachman ME, Burack OR. Planning and control processes across the life span: an overview. Int J Behav Dev. 1993; 16:131–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Folbre N. Children as public goods. Am Econ Rev. 1994; 84:86–90.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heckman J. Skill formation and the economics of investing in disadvantaged children. Science. 2006; 312:1900–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    King M, Ruggles S. American immigration, fertility, and race suicide at the turn of the century. J Interdiscip Hist. 1990; 20:347–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, 2 edn. The Gale Group. 2008. Accessed September 1, 2009.
  20. 20.
    Donohue JJ, Levitt SD. The impact of legalized abortion on crime. Q J Econ. 2001; 116:379–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goldin C, Katz LF. The power of the pill: oral contraceptives and women’s career and marriage decisions. J Polit Econ. 2002; 110:730–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Demographic and Behavioral Sciences BranchEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations