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Amarendra Sharma
''Did Infant Mortality Decline cause Fertility Decline? Evidence from a Panel Data Analysis of Developing Countries.''
( 2015, Vol. 35 No.1 )
The nexus between infant mortality decline and fertility decline has been the subject matter of several theoretical and empirical investigations. However, this relationship still remains an open question, as the literature provides only mixed empirical evidence. We investigate this relationship by using a panel data of 47 developing countries from 1960-2012. Using system generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation, which allows us to control for potential endogeneity of infant mortality in fertility regression, we conclude that the decrease in infant mortality did not result in the observed fertility decline (a positive association); on the contrary, we observe a negative relationship to exist between the two. This result casts some doubt on Barro-Becker (1989) assertion that altruistic parents favored children's quality over quantity in the presence of declining infant mortality, which led to fertility decline.
Keywords: Fertility, Infant Mortality, Demographic Transition, System GMM
JEL: J1 - Demographic Economics: General
O1 - Economic Development: General
Manuscript Received : Mar 11 2015 Manuscript Accepted : Mar 11 2015

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