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Intergenerational fertility correlations in contemporary developing countries

Murphy, Michael J. (2012) Intergenerational fertility correlations in contemporary developing countries. American Journal of Human Biology, 24 (5). pp. 696-704. ISSN 1042-0533

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Identification Number: 10.1002/ajhb.22300


Objectives: To estimate the magnitude of intergenerational continuities in total and effective fertility among women in a group of 46 contemporary developing countries. Methods: Information collected from 93,000 women aged 45–49 for estimation of maternal mortality in the demographic and health surveys (DHS) program is analyzed using Pearson product moment intergenerational fertility correlations. Results: A positive but usually small intergenerational correlation is found for both completed fertility (CFS, total number of children born) and effective fertility (EFS, number of children surviving to age of reproduction). Although the developing countries are mainly located in sub-Saharan Africa, a similar pattern appears to hold for the Asian and Latin American countries included. Women in the second generation with no education have a stronger relationship with their parents' fertility than women with some education. The relationship is also stronger in rural than in urban areas and in countries with lower levels of development. Conclusions: Intergenerational correlations of completed fertility in both generations are marginally stronger than for effective fertility largely because the number of a woman's total sibs is more strongly related to her subsequent childbearing than her number of adult sibs. Values of intergenerational correlations for these countries are similar to published values for a number of Western pretransitional populations, but well below values in contemporary developed societies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Wiley-Blackwell
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2012 10:34
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:50

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