Fertility Transitions and Wealth in Comparative Perspective
Sarah Staveteig, ICF International
The relationship between fertility and socioeconomic status is at the heart of a substantial body of research on population and development. Reductions in fertility improve economic status, and socioeconomic betterment tends to reduce fertility. The Demographic and Health Surveys, a rich source of micro-level data on fertility and socioeconomic status in developing countries, have thus far lacked a comparable measure of wealth across surveys. Using an experimental version of the DHS comparative wealth index, I examine the relationship between wealth and fertility transitions. Reductions in fertility can be partitioned into (1) changes in the share of women at a given level of wealth; (2) changes in the fertility rate among women at that level of wealth. Findings from illustrative countries show divergent patterns in the role of factors (1) and (2).
Presented in Session 23: Fertility Transitions