An exploratory study of changes in fertility across developing countries.
The objective of this work is to explain changes in fertility across developing countries. This is done by estimating the levels of degree of preference implementation for the sixty selected countries with the required data set, estimating the contribution of preference implementation to the change in fertility and examining the relationship between preference implementation and development. Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data sets for sixty countries are used in the analysis. There is variation in the number of data sets and the years of surveys among the countries. Of these sixty countries, twenty-seven with data sets before and after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) were selected for decomposition. The 1998 human development index published by the United Nations is also used. The index is a measure of life expectancy, literacy and the standard of living as measured by the real gross domestic product per capita. Bongaart's variant of Easterlin's supply-demand framework for the analysis of fertility is used. He sees supply of and demand for children as well as degree of preference implementation as the direct determinants of fertility. The index of preference implementation for the various countries was calculated from the quantitative relationships between fertility and its determinants developed by Bongaart. Decomposition of the determinants of fertility between two points for twenty-seven countries was done to estimate contribution o~each.of the determinants to fertility decline in each of the countries. Regression of preference implementation on the development index was also done to establish the relationship between the two. The countries used are grouped into the four regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Near East/North Africa, Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean for ease of analysis and interpretation. The analysis shows variation in the value of preference implementation especially between the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and the others. Only twenty-eight percent of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa fall in the high range group while the percentage is seventy-eight for both Near East/North Africa and Asia, and ninety-two for Latin America and the Caribbean. There is also a general increase in the value of the index for countries with trend data. This is further supported by the result of the regression, which, shows that development has an increasing (positive) effect on the degree of preference implementation. Results of the decomposition exercise also shows that the contribution of degree of preference implementation to fertility decline amongst the regions is highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by Asia, Near East/North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. The results of the analysis show that the importance of the degree of preference implementation cannot be over emphasized. They indicate the extent to which people are able to implement their reproductive intentions and therefore measure the achievement of the various governments against their goals in this particular area of reproductive health for further programme intervention.
CitationIn partial fulfilment of the a ward of master of science degree in population studies of the University of Nairobi
Department of Arts-institute of population studies and research