Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines differentials and determinants of fertility behaviour for the Bolivian population, focusing on the biological, behavioural, economic, social and cultural factors that directly and indirectly affect reproductive behaviour among the three ecological strata (Highlands, Valleys and Lowlands) and two spatial contexts (Urban and Rural). Moreover, the measurement, description and explanation of these factors at the individual and aggregated levels, and the link between the two levels of analysis has been attempted to examine the interrelationship among proximate determinants, microeconomic variables--cost regulation and motivational cost--modernization and cultural variables, and to understand the differentials in fertility. To do this study, the model developed by Bongaarts was applied to the Bolivian data for the estimation of the proximate determinants of fertility at the aggregated level, and the framework proposed by Easterlin was applied to investigate the determinants of fertility at the individual level. These models were applied to data obtained from the Bolivian Demographic and Health Survey of 1989.;Bongaarts proximate determinants framework was applied to explain variations in the fertility levels of the Bolivian population. The findings of Bongaart's model for each ecological strata and spatial context support the conclusion that proportion married, postpartum infecundability, contraception, and induced abortion are the most important proximate determinants of Bolivian fertility.;For the analysis at the individual level, the Easterlin Framework is applied which, not only uses the proximate determinants of fertility, but also incorporates microeconomic variables such as the demand for children, supply of children and cost of regulation. The three equations of the model are discussed in detail. In the first equation, the analysis indicates that the relative contribution of the intermediate variables to the number of children ever born to Bolivian women is most strongly influence by marriage patterns, while the difference in the use of contraception seems to be less important.;The main purpose of the second equation is to provide an explanation of contraceptive use by women. The interest is to understand how the measures of motivation and costs of regulation combined determine the duration of contraceptive use.;The third equation of Easterlin's framework yields knowledge of the mechanisms through which the modernization and cultural variables affect fertility and its behaviour. The results presented in this chapter provide some indication of how fertility, and the modernization and cultural factors interrelate. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)



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