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Regional heterogeneity and fertility behaviour in India

  • Christophe Z. Guilmoto

    (French Institute of Pondicherry)

  • S. Irudaya Rajan

    (Centre for Development Studies)

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 auto-correlation 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.

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Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 290.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:290
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  1. Pollak, R.A. & Watkins, S.C., 1993. "Cultural and Economic Approaches to Fertility : A Proper Marriage or a Mesalliance?," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 93-11, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  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 331-51, January.
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