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Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India

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  • Jean Drèze
  • Mamta Murthi

Abstract

Fertility has declined significantly in many parts of India since the early 1980s. This article examines the determinants of fertility levels and fertility decline, using data on Indian districts for 1981 and 1991. The authors find that women's education and child mortality are the most important factors explaining fertility differences across the country and over time. Low levels of son preference also contribute to lower fertility. By contrast, general indicators of modernization and development such as urbanization, poverty reduction, and male literacy exhibit no significant association with fertility. "En passant", the authors probe a subject of much confusion- the relation between fertility decline and gender bias. Copyright 2001 by The Population Council, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2001. "Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 33-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:27:y:2001:i:1:p:33-63
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dreze, J. & Srinivasan, P.V., 1996. "Poverty in India: Regional Estimates, 1987-8," Papers 129, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research-.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-1079, July.
    4. Beenstock, Michael & Sturdy, Patricia, 1990. "The determinants of infant mortality in regional India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 443-453, March.
    5. Jejeebhoy, Shireen J., 1995. "Women's Education, Autonomy, and Reproductive Behaviour: Experience from Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290339.
    6. Subbarao, K & Raney, Laura, 1995. "Social Gains from Female Education: A Cross-National Study," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 105-128, October.
    7. Jean Dreze & P.V. Srinivasan, 1996. "Poverty In India: Regional Estimates, 1987-8," Working papers 36, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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