A District Level Analysis of the Total Fertility Rate Using Indian Census Data

Anuja Jayaraman, Pennsylvania State University
S. Chandrasekhar, Pennsylvania State University

India is characterized by regions of low fertility-high literacy and high fertility-low literacy rates. In order to explain the inter regional variations, we analyze the district level determinants of total fertility rate (TFR) using 2001 Indian census data. In addition to the standard regressors, we also construct a district level index of economic well-being and include the same as a control. We find that higher levels of female literacy rate, female work force participation, degree of urbanization and higher spending by state governments on development lead to lower TFR. These results are consistent with earlier studies. Since female work force participation is potentially an endogenous variable, in an alternative specification, we use occupation profile of the women in the district as an instrument. We find that women working as cultivators or agricultural laborers have lower fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility Determinants, Family Planning, and Sexual Behavior