Stages of the Demographic Transition from a Child's Perspective: Family Size, Cohort Size, and Schooling

David Lam, University of Michigan
Leticia Marteleto, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and CEDEPLAR

The demographic transition generates a sequence of changes in family size and cohort size that may have important implications for resources available to children. This paper provides a new characterization of stages of the demographic transition from a child's perspective. In the first stage, falling infant and child mortality lead to increasing numbers of surviving children within families and to increases in the size of birth cohorts. In the second stage, falling fertility overtakes falling mortality to produce declining family size, but cohort size continues to rise due to population momentum. In the third stage, falling fertility overtakes population momentum to cause declines in the absolute size of birth cohorts along with continuing declines in family size. These stages, and their interaction with schooling outcomes, are analyzed using Brazilian census data from 1960 to 2000, along with more recent census data from Kenya, Mexico, and Vietnam.

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Presented in Session 20: Families and Households in Developing Countries