The Political Economy of Fertility in the British West Indies 1891-1921

By D. A. V. Brown | Go to book overview

Chapter Three

Fertility and Mortality: The Impact
of the External Political Economy

Introduction

In the previous chapter, the process of fertility in the territories of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago during the period 1891-1921 was analysed. In this chapter, the way in which mortality affected fertility will be examined. The effect of mortality on fertility is first examined through the juxtaposing of fertility measures that do and do not incorporate mortality. This entails examining the gross reproduction rate and the net reproduction rate for both territories. This is followed by analysis that looks at the relation of the two processes in terms of crude rates. The strength of the association between the two variables is established using regression analysis.

In keeping with the central theme of the study, an attempt is made to move beyond pure demographic analysis to an understanding of the ways in which the societal context might have affected these demographic processes. In this chapter, the effect of the wider global economy on the demographic processes is taken into account. The line of causation being conceptualized is one that proceeds from the global economy to fertility performance via the demographic variable of mortality. This is effected using proxies of external economic relations, which express the manner in which developments in this quarter affected the quality of life in these societies. Regression analysis is utilized as a means of establishing the strength of the association between the two sets of variables.

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