Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective

Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective

by Hans-Peter Kohler


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Considerable controversy exists among demographers, economists, and sociologists over the causes of fertility change in developing and developed countries. The neoclassical economic approach to fertility is embraced by its supporters because it facilitates the application of sophisticated consumer and household production theory to one of the most private and intimate questions: a couple's reproductive behavior. Despite the theoretical appeal of the economic approach, it has been eschewed by many critics because of its lack of social and institutional context, its neglect of cultural factors, and its requirement of 'rationality'. The integration of social interaction with economic fertility models in this book emerges as a powerful tool to overcome many of these criticisms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199244591
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/29/2001
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Hans-Peter Kohler received his M.A. in Demography (1994) and Ph.D. in Economics (1997) from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently head of the research group on Social Dynamics and Fertility at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock and part-time professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. His primary research interest is processes of social interactions and their relevance for fertility and AIDS-related behaviors in developing and developed countries. Hans-Peter Kohler is also engaged in research on lowest-low fertility levels, the biodemography of fertility, and demographic methods. Recent publications have appeared in Demography, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Population Economics, Population Studies, Demographic Research, Behavior Genetics, and Population and Development Review.

Table of Contents

1. Fertility Behaviour and Demographic Change: Economic and Other Perspectives
2. Learning in Social Networks and Contraceptive Change
3. The Density of Social Networks and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from S. Nyanza District, Kenya
4. From Individual Behaviour to Aggregate Fertility Dynamics
5. Fertility Decline as a Coordination Problem
6. Social Interactions and Fluctuations in Birth Rates
7. Summary and Conclusions

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