An approach to developing quantitative tools of analysis with which inferences can be drawn concerning interactions among man's environment, public policy, and his reproductive behavior. Regression techniques are used to analyze variations in birth rates across 361 small administrative regions of Taiwan from 1964 to 1968. Strong evidence is found for the importance of the constraints and opportunities of the parents' environment (school enrollment rates and child mortality) in explaining diminishing birth rates. Direct assessment of the impact of the family planning program on birth rates is shown to imply very different conclusions for policy than have indirect studies of contraceptive adoption rates. The program's direct impact on birth rates is initially greater than earlier studies have indicated, but the program is also subject to diminishing returns to scale. New methods to evaluate the cost effectiveness of population programs are needed if an efficient allocation of funds is to be secured in this high-priority field. 100 pp. Ref.
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