Does Global Fertility and Cultural Transition Affect Human Development? The Neglected Role of the Demographic Transition
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- Chen, J. Soc Indic Res (2013) 113: 941. doi:10.1007/s11205-012-0121-x
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This study approaches the potential influence of the demographic transition on outcomes of human development. By re-conceptualizing demographic transition as global fertility and cultural transition and combining all distal macro forces including modernization, techno-economic heritage, and economic dependency, an integrated model for explaining human development outcomes can be theoretically formulated and subjected to empirical test. A panel regression analysis of available data from all developing countries supports the influence of the distal macro forces and the intervening role played by global fertility and cultural transition in affecting human development. In particular, a four-indicator index of global fertility and cultural transition shows the strongest effect on human development index, even controlling for the lagged dependent variable and the latest most competing explanatory variables. Following the long continuing process of the demographic transition, the empirical implication of this newly constructed index of global fertility and cultural transition for exploring alternative measures of human development and policy implications for third world human development are discussed.