Population Density and Fertility in 22 Indian Villages

Abstract

Do agriculturists in the Third World sometimes adjust to increasing population density by having fewer children? Over-time data (1961–1972) for 22 farm villages in India point to such a possibility. Cross-sectionally, villages with higher density tend to have lower fertility, even with controls for village caste composition, prior fertility, female literacy, and agricultural production. Similarly, the regression coefficient for village density is negative when the cross-sections are “pooled.” Population density apparently has an inhibiting effect on fertility in these villages.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Adelman, Irma. 1963.An Econometric Analysis of Population Growth. American Economic Review 53:314–339.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Arnold, Fred, and Chintana Pejaranonda. 1977. Economic Factors in Family Size Decisions in Thailand. Bangkok: Institute of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Beaver, Stephen. 1975. Demographic Transition Theory Reinterpreted. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Berk, Richard A., Donnie M. Hoffman, Judith E. Maki, David Rauma, and Herbert Wong. 1979. Estimation Procedures for Pooled Cross-Sectional and Time-Series Data. Evaluation Quarterly 3:385–410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bilsborrow, Richard E. 1979. Population Pressures and Agricultural Development in Developing Countries: A Conceptual Framework and Recent Evidence. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Philadelphia.

  6. Cain, Mead T. 1977. The Economic Activities of Children in a Village in Bangladesh. Population and Development Review 3:201–227.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Caldwell, John C. 1980. Mass Education as a Determinant of the Timing of Fertility Decline. Population and Development Review 6:225–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Carlsson, Gösta, 1972. Lagged Structures and Cross-Sectional Methods. Acta Sociologica 15:323–341.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Chalamwong, Yongyuth, Merwyn Nelson, Wayne Schutzer, and C. Shannon Stokes. n.d. Land Availability and Human Fertility in the Central Plains of Thailand. Mimeographed. University Park: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University.

  10. Chayanov, A. V. 1966. The Theory of Peasant Economy. Edited by Daniel Thorner, Basile Kerblay, and R. E. F. Smith. Homewood, III.: Richard Irwin, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Collver, Andrew, Alden Speare, Jr., and Paul K. C. Liu. 1967. Local Variations of Fertility in Taiwan. Population Studies 20:329–342.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cutright, Phillips, and William R. Kelly. 1978. Modernization and Other Determinants of National Birth, Death, and Growth Rates: 19581972. Comparative Studies in Sociology I: 17–46.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Davis, Kingsley. 1951. The Population of India and Pakistan. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. —.1963. The Theory of Change and Response in Modern Demographic History. Population Index 29:345–366.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Easterlin, Richard A. 1971. Does Human Fertility Adjust to the Environment? American Economic Review 61:399–407.

    Google Scholar 

  16. —.1976. Factors in the Decline of Farm Family Fertility in the United States: Some Preliminary Research Results. The Journal of American History 63:600–614.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Firebaugh, Glenn. 1978. A Rule for Inferring Individual-Level Relationships from Aggregate Data. American Sociological Review 43:557–572.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Freedman, Ronald. 1979. Theories of Fertility Decline: A Reappraisal. Social Forces 58:1–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Gove, Walter R., and Michael Hughes. 1980. Reexamining the Ecological Fallacy: A Study in Which Aggregate Data Are Critical in Investigating the Pathological Effects of Living Alone. Social Forces 58:1157–1177.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Guest, Avery M. 1981. Social Structure and U.S. Inter-State Fertility Differentials in 1900. Demography 18:465–486.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Hammond, John L. 1973.Two Sources of Error in Ecological Correlations. American Sociological Review 38:764–777.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hannan, Michael T., and Alice Young. 1977. Estimation in Panel Models: Results on Pooling Cross-Sections and Time Series. Chapter 2 in David R. Heise (ed.), Sociological Methodology 1977. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Heer, David M. 1966. Economic Development and Fertility. Demography 3:423–444.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hermalin, Albert I., and William R. Lavely. 1979. Agricultural Development and Fertility Change in Taiwan. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Philadelphia.

  25. Hicks, Whitney. 1974. Economic Development and Fertility Change in Mexico, 1950–1970. Demography 11:407–421.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Jain, Anrudh K. 1981.The Effect of Female Education on Fertility: A Simple Explanation. Demography 18:577–595.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Janowitz, Barbara S. 1971. An Empirical Study of the Effects of Socioeconomic Development on Fertility Rates. Demography 8:319–330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Kessinger, Tom G. 1974. Vilyatpur 1848–1968: Social and Economic Change in a North Indian Village. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Kleinman, David S. 1973. Fertility Variation and Resources in Rural India (1961). Economic Development and Cultural Change 21:679–696.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Kmenta, Jan. 1971. Elements of Econometrics. New York: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Latif, Abdul, and Nuimuddin Chowdhury. 1977. Land Ownership and Fertility in Two Areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Development Studies 5:239–246.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Leet, Don R. 1977. Interrelations of Population Density, Urbanization, Literacy, and Fertility. Explorations in Economic History 14:388–401.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Lindert, Peter H. 1978. Fertility and Scarcity in America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Long, Susan B. 1979. The Continuing Debate over the Use of Ratio Variables: Facts and Fiction. Chapter 2 in K. F. Schuessler (ed.), Sociological Methodology 1980. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Mamdani, Mahmood. 1972. The Myth of Population Control: Family, Caste and Class in an Indian Village. New York: Monthly Review Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Mandelbaum, David G. 1970. Society in India: Continuity and Change. Vol. I. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. — 1974. Human Fertility in India: Social Components and Policy Perspectives. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. — 1975. Some Effects of Population Growth in India on Social Interaction and Religion. Chapter 4 in M. F. Franda (ed.), Responses to Population Growth in India. New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  39. McInnis, R. Marvin. 1977. Childbearing and Land Availability: Some Evidence from Individual Household Data. Pp. 201–227 in Ronald D. Lee (ed.), Population Patterns in the Past. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Merrick, Thomas W. 1978. Fertility and Land Availability in Rural Brazil. Demography 15:321–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Potter, Robert G. Jr., Mary New, John B. Wyon, and John E. Gordon. 1965. A Fertility Differential in Eleven Punjab Villages. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 43:185–200.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Rosenzweig, Mark R. 1977. The Demand for Children in Farm Households. Journal of Political Economy 85:123–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Sahota, Gian S. n.d. Appendix D and Appendix Tables A-D. Mimeographed. Nashville, Tenn.: Economics Department, Vanderbilt University.

  44. Sahota, Gian S., and Chander K. Sahota. 1975. Green Revolution and Population Dynamics in India. Research report submitted to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University.

  45. — 1979. A Theory of Family Investment in Child Education and Fertility with Applications to India. Contributions to Asian Studies 13:3562.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Wallace, T. D., and A. Hussain. 1969. The Use of Error Components Models in Combining CrossSection with Time Series Data. Econometrica 37:55–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Williams, Anne. 1976. Review and Evaluation of the Literature. Pp. 119–159 in Michael C. Keeley (ed.), Population, Public Policy, and Economic Development. New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Wyon, John B., and John E. Gordon. 1971. The Khanna Study: Population Problems in the Rural Punjab. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Yotopoulos, Pan A. 1978. Population and Agricultural Development: Selected Relationships and Possible Planning Uses. Vol. 2: The Population Problem and the Development Solution. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Firebaugh, G. Population Density and Fertility in 22 Indian Villages. Demography 19, 481–494 (1982). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061014

Download citation

Keywords

  • Child Labor
  • Fertility Decline
  • Green Revolution
  • Crude Birth Rate
  • Female Education