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When Does Religion Influence Fertility?

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  • Kevin McQuillan

Abstract

Religious affiliation as a determinant of demographic behavior is receiving renewed attention in demography. Interest in the role of cultural factors in affecting fertility and a specific concern with the role of Islam in many developing countries have helped re-invigorate research on the role of religion. This article reviews theoretical and empirical work on that relationship, with special attention to a number of cases in which religion has been identified as an important determinant of fertility patterns. The article concludes that religion plays an influential role when three conditions are satisfied: first, the religion articulates behavioral norms with a bearing on fertility behavior; second, the religion holds the means to communicate these values and promote compliance; and, third, religion forms a central component of the social identity of its followers. Copyright 2004 The Population Council, Inc..

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  • Kevin McQuillan, 2004. "When Does Religion Influence Fertility?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(1), pages 25-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:30:y:2004:i:1:p:25-56
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    1. Jejeebhoy, Shireen J., 1995. "Women's Education, Autonomy, and Reproductive Behaviour: Experience from Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290339.
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