The dynamics of fertility, family planning and female education in a developing economy

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Unlike most empirical works on fertility analysis, this study is the first attempt to analyse the dynamics of fertility and its determinants with a particular focus on the role played by female education and family planning programmes in the context of a traditional society. The analysis is based on the application of the following dynamic time-series techniques in a multivariate context: cointegration, vector error-correction modelling and variance decompositions. These 'dynamic' tools are recently developed and hitherto untried in fertility analysis in the context of a poor developing economy, such as India. The results based on the above most recently developed methodology, broadly indicate that in the complex dynamic interactions, the importance of conventional 'structural' hypothesis as a 'Granger-causal' factor in bringing fertility down in the longer term cannot be denied. However, overall, in the short to long term, the findings appear to be more consistent with the recent 'ideational' hypothesis (emphasizing the critical role played by the two policy variables in the analysis- i.e. changes in the female secondary enrolment ratios, and family planning programmes- to ensure 'initial' fertility decline) than with the conventional 'structural' hypothesis (emphasizing a significant socio-economic structural change as a pre-condition for 'initial' fertility decline).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 10, 2000

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