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A Framework for Analyzing the Proximate Determinants of Fertility

John Bongaarts
Population and Development Review
Vol. 4, No. 1 (Mar., 1978), pp. 105-132
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1972149
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1972149
Page Count: 28
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A Framework for Analyzing the Proximate Determinants of Fertility
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Abstract

A framework for analyzing the relationship between intermediate fertility variables and fertility levels is presented. An intermediate fertility variable is defined as any behavioral or biological factor through which socioeconomic, cultural, or environmental variables affect fertility. A complete set of eight intermediate fertility variables is proposed, but it is shown that only four are important determinants of fertility differentials among populations: proportions married, contraception, induced abortion, and lactational infecundability. A simple model that allows quantitative estimation of the fertility effects of each of these four variables is outlined, and its application is illustrated.

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