Fertility changes in Latin America in the context of economic and political uncertainty

Alicia Adsera, University of Illinois at Chicago and Population Research Center, University of Chicago
Alicia Menedez, University of Chicago

During the last three decades fertility rates have declined sharply across Latin-American countries and fertility has been delayed. Also these decades have been accompanied, in some countries, with a high degree of economic and political uncertainty in the form of high inflation, persistent unemployment and political regime changes. Those factors have likely had a bearing in key household decisions such as childbearing. In this paper we explore this hypothesis taking advantage of the existing cross-country differences in both fertility and country conditions. First, we use a panel of 18 Latin American nations for over 25 years to study how different labour market and political institutions have shaped the fertility trends of different age groups. Second, we use DHS Household Surveys to analyze the effect of those aggregate conditions in the individual spacing of children of women of some Latin-American countries.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 95: The demography of Latin America