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Regional Heterogeneity and Fertility Behaviour in India


  • S. Irudaya Rajan
  • Christophe Z. Guilmoto


This paper examines regional heterogeneity both from statistical and cartographic perspectives, using factor analysis of non-demographic data, models of fertility determinants and district-wise mapping to test out the presence of regional clustering. Regional analysis reveals that economic, social and health indicators display spatial patterns as strong as fertility rates. All recent models of fertility incorporate a significant geographical component (using dummy regional variables or autocorrelation measurements). The map of fertility decline spreading along culturally and spatially contiguous regions also suggests that diffusion mechanisms may play an independent role in the spread of new reproductive behaviour (small family norm). Though diffusion per se, no real explanation for the fast decline of fertility in Southern or Coastal India (what would then be the cause of diffusion in the first place?), it would definitely be important to understand how these mechanisms are facilitated by social and cultural homogeneity or by regional policies. [Working Paper No. 290]

Suggested Citation

  • S. Irudaya Rajan & Christophe Z. Guilmoto, 2010. "Regional Heterogeneity and Fertility Behaviour in India," Working Papers id:3154, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:3154
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pollak, R.A. & Watkins, S.C., 1993. "Cultural and Economic Approaches to Fertility : A Proper Marriage or a Mesalliance?," Working Papers 93-11, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    2. Friedlander, Dov & Schellekens, Jona & Ben-Moshe, Eliahu, 1991. "The Transition from High to Low Marital Fertility: Cultural or Socioeconomic Determinants?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Z. Guilmoto & S. Irudaya Rajan, 2001. "Spatial Patterns of Fertility Transition in Indian Districts," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(4), pages 713-738.
    2. N. Vijayamohanan Pillai, 2004. "CES function, generalised mean and human poverty index: Exploring some links," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 360, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.

    More about this item


    Fertility; South India; diffusion; heterogeneity; family planning; reproductive behaviour; coastal India; infant mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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