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Fertility, Education and Development: Further Evidence from India

Author

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  • Jean Drèze
  • Mamta Murthi

Abstract

There has been a significant decline in fertility in many parts of India since the early 1980s. This paper reexamines the determinants of fertility levels and fertility decline, using panel data on Indian districts for 1981 and 1991. We find that women's education is the most important factor explaining fertility differences across the country and over time. Low levels of child mortality and son preferences also contribute to lower fertility. By contrast, general indicators of modernization and development such as urbanisation, poverty reduction, and male literacy bear no significant association with fertility. En passant, we probe a subject of much confusion - the relation between fertility decline and gender bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2000. "Fertility, Education and Development: Further Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 20, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:20
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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/de/dedps20.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Usha Jayachandran, 2002. "Socio-Economic Determinants of School Attendance in India," Working papers 103, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    2. Nirupam Bajpai, 2003. "India: Towards the Millennium Development Goals," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2003-10, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    3. Marco Alfano, 2014. "Daughters, Dowries, Deliveries:The Effect of Marital Payments on Fertility Choices in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1413, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Jeffery, Patricia & Jeffery, Roger, 2002. "A Population Out of Control? Myths About Muslim Fertility in Contemporary India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1805-1822, October.
    5. Wang, Limin, 2002. "Health outcomes in poor countries and policy options : empirical findings from demographic and health surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2831, The World Bank.
    6. Usha Jayachandran, 2010. "Socio-Economic Determinants of School Attendance in India," Working Papers id:2866, eSocialSciences.
    7. Marwa Farag & A. Nandakumar & Stanley Wallack & Dominic Hodgkin & Gary Gaumer & Can Erbil, 2013. "Health expenditures, health outcomes and the role of good governance," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 33-52, March.
    8. Partha Dasgupta, 2000. "Population and Resources: An Exploration of Reproductive and Environmental Externalities," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(4), pages 643-689.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; demographic transition; female literacy; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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