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From Demographic Transition to Population Boom and Bust: The Experience of Iran in The 1980s and 1990s

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  • Hassan Hakimian

Abstract

Although it is widely recognized that demographic transition is not an uninterrupted process, fertility swings have been met with curiosity among demographers and population economists. Iran's experience of population growth after the Revolution points to a double paradox of a steep and unprecedented surge in population growth in the 1980s followed by a swift restoration of fertility decline in the 1990s. Interest in the population boom and bust of this period is highlighted by extensive socio-economic and institutional changes combined with radical and far-reaching sways in Iran's post-revolutionary population policy. This paper applies a standardization analysis to decompose and quantify the proximate components of change in the crude birth rate. The aim is to ascertain to what extent 'structural/demographic' or 'behavioral' factors can explain the dynamics of fertility and population change in Iran over the recent boom and bust cycles. Our findings point to the (hitherto neglected) role of population momentum in initiating the Islamic baby boom as well as a more limited role for population policy in explaining the genesis (rather than the momentum) of both boom and bust periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Hassan Hakimian, 2001. "From Demographic Transition to Population Boom and Bust: The Experience of Iran in The 1980s and 1990s," Working Papers 0109, Economic Research Forum, revised 03 2001.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:0109
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