Publications Summary

Document Type
Further Analysis
Publication Topic(s)
Fertility and Fertility Preferences
Brazil DHS, 1986
Recommended Citation
do Valle Silva, Nelson, Maria Helena F.T. Henriques, and Amaury de Souza. 1990. An Analysis of Reproductive Behavior in Brazil. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 6. Columbia, Maryland, USA: Institute for Resource Development/ Macro Systems Inc.
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Publication Date
April 1990
Publication ID


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Brazil's population has undergone a major fertility decline in the past twenty years. Changing fertility patterns are analyzed in this report with data from the 1986 nationwide maternity-child health and contraceptive survey.Following Easterlin's "synthesis framework," fertility decline is viewed as a result of the modernization process, as the latter alters the mechanisms of fertility choices from natural forces to deliberate decisions on the part of individuals or families. Analyses of the proximate determinants of fertility in Brazil indicate that wife's education and religiosity constitutes the principle factors through which modernizations affects fertility. Traditional values, as measured by women's religiosity, increase both desired family size and costs of fertility regulation. they exert, however, no measurable effect on the couple's potential family size. Wife's education, in turn, affects fertility in more complex ways, as it tends to decrease both potential and desired family size. It also has a negative impact on the costs of regulation, as it increases size. It also has a negative impact of the costs of regulation,as it increases knowledge of contraception. Thus, an unanticipated consequence of rising women's education may be a reduction in the motivation for fertility control.


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