Determinants of Contraceptive Change 1975 - 2006: A Multi-Country Study

John B. Casterline, Ohio State University
Kana Fuse, Ohio State University

The sharp declines in fertility in non-Western countries from 1960 to the present ranks as one of the most significant demographic developments of the past century, with multifaceted effects on the economic, social, and demographic character of these societies. The causes of these declines are not yet well understood, in particular how the contributions of various determinants are to be weighted. The accumulating stock of demographic surveys provides a foundation for analyzing this change in detail. This paper uses WFS and DHS data to examine changes in the use of contraception in 42 countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa in the period 1975-2006. Via the method of regression decomposition, we estimate proportions of change that can be attributed to changes in key socioeconomic variables (urban-rural residence, educational attainment, occupation) and changes in fertility preferences. We also consider how the estimated contributions of each determinant vary across country and region.

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Presented in Session 155: Social Status and Reproduction: Interrelationships between Poverty, Wealth and Fertility