Arland Thornton photo

International Fertility Change: New Data and Insights from the Developmental Idealism Framework

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, Georgina Binstock, Kathryn M. Yount, Mohammad Abbasi-Shavazi, Dirgha J. Ghimire, and Yu Xie. 2012. "International Fertility Change: New Data and Insights from the Developmental Idealism Framework." Demography, 49(2): 677-698.

Many scholars have offered structural and ideational explanations for the fertility changes occurring around the world. This paper focuses on the influence of developmental idealism—a schema or set of beliefs endorsing development, fertility change, and causal connections between development and fertility. Developmental idealism is argued to be an important force affecting both population policy and the fertility behavior of ordinary people. We present new survey data from ordinary people in six countries—Argentina, China, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, and the United States—about the extent to which developmental idealism is known and believed. We ask individuals if they believe that fertility and development are correlated, that development is a causal force in changing fertility levels, and that fertility declines enhance the standard of living and intergenerational relations. We also ask people about their expectations concerning future trends in fertility in their countries and whether they approve or disapprove of the trends they expect. The data show widespread linkage in the minds of ordinary people between fertility and development. Large fractions of people in these six settings believe that fertility and development are correlated, that development reduces fertility, and that declines in fertility foster development. Many also expect and endorse future declines in fertility.

10.1007/s13524-012-0097-9

PMCID: PMC3328099. (Pub Med Central)

Countries of focus: Argentina, China, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, United States of America.

Developmental Idealism series.

Browse | Search | Books | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Shaefer comments on the Cares Act impact in negating hardship during COVID-19 pandemic

Heller comments on lasting safety benefit of youth employment programs

More News

Highlights

Dean Yang's Combatting COVID-19 in Mozambique study releases Round 1 summary report

Help Establish Standard Data Collection Protocols for COVID-19 Research

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook