Fertility and economic behavior of families in the Philippines

by Alvin J. Harman, John R. Clark, Leonard W. Swanson


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An empirical analysis of the interrelationship between fertility and socioeconomic behavior of families, designed to give insight into the relative merits of various policies affecting population growth. Most studies of the causes and consequences of population growth infer the behavior of individual families from aggregate area statistics; this study explores the validity of such inferences, using data for 7254 individual families in the Philippines. The simultaneous equation model employed explicitly considers marriage, child births and deaths, migration, and labor force participation and income of husband and wife. Results show that education significantly influences employment and income for all age groups, although a given educational attainment yields less income for women than for men and for younger than for older men. Increased female education correlates with smaller family size, higher age of first marriage, and employment, which indirectly reduce family size still further. Those who claimed to use birth control methods had no fewer children than nonusers. Perhaps the best strategy for reducing population growth is to rely not only on direct policies of information dissemination but also on indirect policies that encourage smaller family size.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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