The Turkish demographic transition. Fertility and infant mortality

Jean-Marie Le Goff, Université de Lausanne
Yannic Forney, Université de Lausanne

The aim of our paper is to investigate links between fertility and infant mortality in Turkey between the sixties and the end of the 20th century. Demographic trends of this country show a decrease of the TFR and the infant mortality rate during this period. The context of this decrease is the progressive diffusion of contraceptives and the spread of childcare practices which improve the health of children. Our general hypothesis is that Turkey is actually in a demographic transition from a fertility regime in which prevails the quantity of children to a fertility regime based on the quality of children. According to this hypothesis, we wish to analyse correlations between fertility and infant mortality at the level of individuals. We expect a positive correlation, i.e., that lower (respectively higher) is the parity of a woman and lower (higher) is the probability that some of her children die. We suppose also that the adoption of the new behaviours of reducing fertility and “modern” childcare practices depend on several factors which improve the autonomy of women in households, like a high level of education or a non-arranged marriage. We will also suppose that these new behaviour are more often adopted in younger cohort and also in urban areas and the most developed regions of Turkey. Data used are the Turkish DHS data of 1998. In this survey were collected information on births and infant mortality of women aged between 15 and 49 years old. These data are analysed with techniques of event history analysis.

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Presented in Session 56: Reproductive health and fertility