Ten Years of Fertility Decline in Brazil: Where, Why and How Fast

Jeronimo O. Muniz, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Knowledge, innovations and behaviors that influence fertility decisions spread over space through teaching/learning processes and often occur through imitation between areas that are closer to each other. In this study, I adopt a spatially referenced approach to take into account this proximity and to analyze why, where and how fast fertility has declined in Brazil. Using data based on the Brazilian Census I investigate the spatial and temporal patterns of fertility in Brazil between 1991 and 2000, identify the "hot and cold spots" in which fertility is clustered, and evaluate the importance of socio-demographic factors accounting for these patterns. I do this by estimating and comparing the efficiency of four spatial models: OLS, OLS with spatial lags, OLS considering the correlation of the errors and GWR. The results indicate that the last provides the best estimates and demonstrates that the effect of each variable is dependent on its spatial distribution.

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Presented in Session 151: Fertility Differentials and Trends