Navigation Links
Economics influence fertility rates more than other factors
Date:4/30/2013

The world population could top 8 billion in the year 2023 if current growth rates remain constant, according to United Nations figures. However, if global fertility rates slow more quickly than expected, there could be up to half a billion fewer mouths to feed on Earth in 2023. Based on a recent study by a University of Missouri anthropologist, economic changes have the greatest impact on reducing family size, and thus slowing population growth, compared to other factors. Understanding the causes of declining birth rates may lead to improved policies designed to influence fertility and result in reduced competition for food, water, land and wealth.

"Improvements in economic development, such as higher educational attainment, increasing employment in the formal labor market, and the shift away from agriculture, seem to have a doubly-powerful effect because they not only raise individuals' standards of living, but also correlate to declining fertility rates, according to the results of our study," said Mary Shenk, assistant professor of anthropology in MU's College of Arts and Science. "Another important finding of our study was that intervention programs that made changes that really affected individuals achieved the best results. For example, although advertising campaigns encouraging lower fertility may reach a wider audience for less money, face-to-face intervention campaigns providing health services or access to contraception provide better results and are thus a better use of resources."

In their research, Shenk and her colleagues used data collected since 1966 from approximately 250,000 people in rural Bangladesh, along with detailed interviews of nearly 800 women from the region. Sixty-four factors related to family size were considered and organized according to three possible explanations for declines in fertility rates:

  • Risk and mortality Parents have fewer children when they have more hope that children will survive into adulthood, according to this explanation.
  • Economic and investment This explanation suggests that rising costs of children and higher payoffs to investing in self and children reduce fertility with the shift to a market economy.
  • Cultural transmission This explanation holds that social perceptions of the value of children, ideal family size and acceptance of contraception influence fertility rates.

Shenk's team used specially designed data collection and statistical methods to discern that "economic and investment" factors most clearly correlated to lower fertility. However, Shenk noted that the three possible explanations were interwoven. Although economic factors were significantly more influential, other phenomena such as mortality rates and health interventions also affect fertility decline in Bangladesh.

"Few studies have compared those three possible explanations for fertility declines to determine which had the strongest effect," said Shenk. "Population growth rates have fallen globally, starting in 18th century Western Europe, but the exact cause was intensely debated because there are so many different explanations in the literature. Our study created a framework by which different explanations could be explicitly compared. Population data from any region could be analyzed using these methods to help researchers, government officials, health workers and others understand the key drivers of demographic change in that region."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Wall
walltj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Abacus International Expands Annual Partnership With HealthEconomics.Com
2. Game-based economics research explains why we roll the dice on flu shots
3. Sociology, economics researchers receive grant to study development across the human lifespan
4. Classifying neural circuit dysfunctions using neuroeconomics
5. Neuroeconomics to study decision-making in anxious individuals
6. Hospital readmission rates linked to availability of care, socioeconomics
7. Kids Smoking Influences May Change Over Time
8. Study shows severity of sleep apnea is influenced by race
9. Public support can influence soldiers mental health: Study
10. Growing shorter: Adult health habits influence how much we shrink with age
11. Alanna Waters, Lacrosse Coach, Comments on Story Regarding Lacrosse’s Influence on a Young Transplant Patient
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned ... the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at ... fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether ... latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, ... their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is ... associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a Fair ... hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate as ... the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading clinical ... generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at ... 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , ... Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate with ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in ... . ... ... ... Astellas is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: