Fecundability and Social Development in China

Changes in the Distribution of the First Conception Interval

Published in: Biometrical Journal, v. 35, no. 8, 1993, p. 985-995

by Roland Sturm, Junsen Zhang

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While it is typically assumed that the hazard of conception of a susceptible woman is either constant or decreasing, the authors find evidence that the hazard is increasing with the duration of marriage in China. This positive duration dependence may reflect the effects of spouses getting accustomed to each other and may exist in other traditional societies. They also explore whether changing customs may lead to changes in the duration dependence across cohorts or provinces. They find a small decline in the positive duration dependence over time in one province, which might be interpreted as a diminishing late honeymoon effect. Somewhat stronger is the difference between the more rural provinces Hebei and Shaanxi and the urbanized municipality of Shanghai.

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