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Fertility choice, mortality expectations, and interdependent preferences—An empirical analysis

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  • Canning, David
  • Günther, Isabel
  • Linnemayr, Sebastian
  • Bloom, David

Abstract

We investigate the empirical relationship between child mortality and fertility across 46 low and middle income countries. Specifically, we model the effect of mortality expectations and interdependent fertility preferences on fertility. The direct marginal effect of mortality expectations on fertility is larger than zero but less than unity. This implies that a decrease in mortality rates leads to a decrease in children born but to an increase in the number of surviving children and hence the rate of population growth. Taking into account interdependent fertility preferences, whereby an individual's fertility choice affects the fertility decisions of others, the marginal effect of mortality expectations on fertility becomes one. Hence, if we allow for both mortality expectations and the amplifying effect of interdependent fertility preferences, a decrease in child mortality has no net effect on the rate of population growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Canning, David & Günther, Isabel & Linnemayr, Sebastian & Bloom, David, 2013. "Fertility choice, mortality expectations, and interdependent preferences—An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 273-289.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:63:y:2013:i:c:p:273-289 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.07.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Chakraborty, Shankha, 2014. "Contraception and the Fertility Transition," MPRA Paper 53129, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Isabel Günther & Kenneth Harttgen, 2016. "Desired Fertility and Number of Children Born Across Time and Space," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(1), pages 55-83, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortality; Fertility; Social spillovers; Demographic transition;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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