Lokky Wai

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The relationship between social status and fertility is examined in this study. Special attention is given to the effects of social status on the value of children, and the effects of these two variables on fertility. Several demographic theories are reviewed, including Social Aspiration, Mortality Insurance and Adjustment, Innovation and Diffusion, Flow of Wealth, Microeconomic, and Value of Children. A theoretical model which incorporates several fertility determinants is constructed and subsequently tested on data derived from an agricultural evaluation project in a rural area of Pakistan. The empirical test takes a multi-dimensional approach to the measurement of such concepts as social status, value of children, and fertility. Bivariate as well as multivariate analyses involving multiple regression and path analysis are used to test the theoretical model.;Major findings from the regression analyses indicate that the effects of the various social status variables on fertility are weak and inconsistent. While the inclusion of the value of children variables enhances the explanatory power of the fertility regression model, it is the "intermediate variables" which explain most of the variance. The path analysis indicates that the value of children variables, with the exception of old age support and expectation of help from children, are not important explanatory variables of fertility. The thesis concludes with a discussion of measurement problems and policy implications for fertility reduction.



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