The Fertility Transition in Latin America

By JosÉ Miguel GuzmÁn; Susheela Singh et al. | Go to book overview
standard transition theory, but these relations have shifted and become less pronounced over the last three decades, suggesting that substantial 'structural change' has occurred which is not accounted for by changes in these variables. In spite of the fact that there are persistent socio-economic differentials, once the trend of fertility decline has become manifest at the national level during the same time period, most of the major population subgroups have reduced their fertility, and have done so over a relatively short period of time. Ideal family size has also declined across the board since the mid-1970s, and these trends have apparently been little affected by the economic stagnation or retrogression of the 1980s.In this context, a diffusionist perspective seems to be helpful in the description of a process of change in both desired and actual fertility, where the intra- generational, inter-group modes of spread appear to be relevant. Its relevance as a truly explanatory model is less certain, given the difficulties of distinguishing diffusion effects from other underlying causes in previous empirical studies. Socio-economic factors and social interaction could play an important role in attempting to explain pre-transitional fertility differentials over extended periods of time and the timing of the onset of national declines.
References
Anderton, D.et al. ( 1987), "'Intergenerational Transmission of Relative Fertility and Life Course Patterns'", Demography, 24/ 4:467-80.
Arriaga, E. ( 1970), Mortality Decline and its Demographic Effects in Latin America (Population Monograph Series, No. 6; ( Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California).
Becker, G., and Lewis, H. ( 1973), "'On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children'". Journal of Political Economy, 81/ 2 ( 2): S279-S288.
Becker, G. ( 1981), A Treatise on the Family ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press).
Bravo, J. ( 1990), "'Cambios en la Paridez Completa y la Difusión de la Reducción de la Fecundidad en Latinoamérica en el Siglo XX: Un Análisis Basado en Datos Censales'", História e Populaçao: Estudos sobre a América Latina ( São Paulo, Brazil: ABEP- IUSSP-CELADE).
Brizuela, F. ( 1988), Paraguay: Diferenciales Geográficos y Socio-económicos de la Fecundidad, 1960-1979 ( Asunción, Paraguay: Dirección de Estadística y Censos).
Carlsson, G. ( 1966), "'Decline of Fertility: Innovation or Adjustment Process'", Population Studies, 20/ 2: 149-74.
Cavalli-Sforza, L., and Feldman, M. ( 1981), Cultural Transmission and Evolution: A Quantitative Approach ( Princeton: Princeton University Press).
CELADE ( 1988), Demographic Bulletin, 41 (Year 21) ( Santiago, Chile).
----- ( 1989), Demographic Bulletin, 44 (Year 21) ( Santiago: Chile).
----- ( 1992), "'Population Policy: A Perspective from Latin America and the Caribbean'" (CELADE Serie A, No. 262, LC/DEM/R. 111; Santiago, Chile).
CEPAL ( 1990), Productive Transformation with Equity ( Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, UN LC/G. 1601-P; New York).
Chesnais, J. C. ( 1986), La Transition démographique: Étapes, formes et implicationséconomiques--Étude des séries temporelles (1720-1984) Relative à 67 Pays (Travaux et Documents

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