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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    The inter-relationship among economic activities, environmental degradation, material consumption and population health in low-income countries: a longitudinal ecological study.

    Chuang YC; Huang YL; Hu CY; Chen SC; Tseng KC

    BMJ Open. 2015; 5(7):e006183.

    OBJECTIVES: The theory of ecological unequal exchange explains how trade and various forms of economic activity create the problem of environmental degradation, and lead to the deterioration of population health. Based on this theory, our study examined the inter-relationship among economic characteristics, ecological footprints, CO2 emissions, infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in low-income countries. DESIGN: A longitudinal ecological study design. SETTING: Sixty-six low-income countries from 1980 to 2010 were included in the analyses. Data for each country represented an average of 23 years (N=1497). DATA SOURCES: Data were from the World Development Indicators, UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Global Footprint Network and Polity IV Project. ANALYSES: Linear mixed models with a spatial power covariance structure and a correlation that decreased over time were constructed to accommodate the repeated measures. Statistical analyses were conducted separately by sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and other regions. RESULTS: After controlling for country-level sociodemographic characteristics, debt and manufacturing, economic activities were positively associated with infant mortality rates and under-5 mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, export intensity and foreign investment were beneficial for reducing infant and under-5 mortality rates in Latin America and other regions. Although the ecological footprints and CO2 emissions did not mediate the relationship between economic characteristics and health outcomes, export intensity increased CO2 emissions, but reduced the ecological footprints in sub-Saharan Africa. By contrast, in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, although export intensity was positively associated with the ecological footprints and also CO2 emissions, the percentage of exports to high-income countries was negatively associated with the ecological footprints. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that environmental protection and economic development are important for reducing infant and under-5 mortality rates in low-income countries. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Consumption smoothing and excess female mortality in rural India.

    Rose E


    This paper examines the relationship between consumption smoothing and excess female mortality [in India], by asking if favorable rainfall shocks in childhood increase the survival probabilities of girls to a greater extent than they increase boys' survival probabilities for a sample of rural Indian children. In order to avert the issue of selection bias due to underreporting of births of girls, a methodology is employed that does not require data on births by gender. The results indicate that favorable rainfall shocks increase the ratio of the probability that a girl survives to the probability that a boy survives. (EXCERPT)
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  3. 3

    Consumption smoothing and excess female mortality in rural India.

    Rose E

    Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Seattle Population Research Center, 1995 Jan. 20, [8] p. (Seattle Population Research Center Working Paper No. 95-1)

    This paper examines the relationship between consumption smoothing and excess female mortality, by asking if favorable rainfall shocks in childhood increase the survival probabilities of girls to a greater extent than they increase boys' survival probabilities for a sample of rural Indian children....The impacts of households' landholdings, parents' education and the availability of health and educational institutions are also assessed. (EXCERPT)
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    A reformulation of the economic theory of fertility.

    Becker GS; Barro RJ

    QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS. 1988 Feb; 103(1):1-25.

    An economic analysis of the linkages in fertility rates and capital accumulation across generations is developed, considering the determination of fertility and capital accumulation in each generation when wage rates and interest rates are parameters to each family and to open economies. The model is based on the assumption that parents are altruistic toward their children. The utility of parents depends on their own consumption and on the utility of each child and the number of children. By relating the utility of children to their own consumption and to the utility of their children, a dynastic utility function was obtained that depends on the consumption and number of descendants in all generations. The term "reformulation" was used because of the emphasis on dynastic utility model of altruism toward children and deriving the budget constraint and utility function of a dynastic family, the model was applied to the Great Depression and World War II. The 1st-order conditions to maximize utility imply that fertility in any generation depends positively on the real interest rate and the degree of altruism and negatively on the rate of growth in per capita consumption from 1 generation to the next. Consumption of each descendant depends positively on the net cost of rearing a desdendant. Applying the model, it is shown that the analysis is consistent with baby busts during the Depression and the war and with a baby boom after the war. The effects on fertility of child mortality, subsidies to (or taxes on) children, and social security and other transfer payments to adults were considered. The demand for surviving children rises during the transition to low child mortality, but demand for survivors return to its prior level once mortality stabilizes at a low level. Fertility falls in response to declines in international real interest rates and increases in an economy's rate of technological progress. Extending the analysis to include life-cycle variations in consumption, earnings, and utility, fertility emerges as a function of expenditures on the subsistence and human capital of children but not of expenditures that simply raise the consumption of children. The path of aggregate consumption in demographic steady states does not depend on interest rates, time preference, or other determinants of life-cycle variations in consumption.
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  5. 5

    Implications of changing age structure for current and future development planning.

    United Nations. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP]

    Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1987. 10 p. (Population Research Leads No. 25)

    The Asian and Pacific region's decline in fertility and mortality over the past 2 decades has resulted in large shifts in the age composition of national populations, which affects planning in nearly every social and economic sector. For the region as a whole, the crude birthrate is estimated to have remained at 40/1000 population until about 1970, declining to 27/1000 in the 1980-85 period. This rapid decline in fertility has complicated population policy formulation and the integration of population factors into development planning. The demonstration that government programs could alter demographic trends meant that population no longer could be treated simply as an exogenous variable in development planning. The combination of previously high fertility and declining mortality, which particularly affected the survival rates of infants and children, resulted in a small increase in the proportion of the population of the region below age 15, from 37% in 1950 to 41% in 1970. By 1985, the latter proportion dropped to 35% because of declining fertility. Due to the previously high fertility and more recent declines, the proportion of the population in working-age groups increased from 56% in 1975 to 61% in 1985 and is projected to reach 65% by 2000. Providing employment for this rapidly increasing population of labor-force age is a major challenge for countries of the region over the next several decades. For those few countries in the Asian and Pacific regions who had low birth and death rates by 1960, the current issue is demographic aging. As the rate of population growth per se decreases in importance as a planning goal, other aspects of population, such as spatial distribution, take on more significance. The rising marriage age and organized family planning programs were the primary causes of fertility decline in the region, although the decline was limited in South Asia where large pockets of high fertility (a total fertility rate in the range of 5-7) remain. The contribution of rising marriage age to further fertility decline is approaching the limit, except in the countries of South Asia where the marriage age continues to be below 20 years. In most of the countries of the region, the potential also exists for a 2nd generation "baby boom" resulting from a changing age structure. This would in turn slow down the pace of fertility decline unless compensated by a rapid fall in fertility of younger married women caused by successful implementation of family planning programs and other associated socioeconomic changes. Aside from the straightforward implications of demographic change, changes in age structure also imply changes in consumption patterns. Thus, planning for production, consumption, investment, and distribution always should incorporate changes in age structure.
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  6. 6

    Altruism and the economic theory of fertility.

    Becker GS; Barro RJ


    The economic approach to fertility emphasizes the effects of parents' income and the cost of rearing children. With a few exceptions, this approach has neglected the analytical links between decisions by different generations of the same family. This article develops the implications of altruism toward children, where utility of parents depends on their own consumption, their fertility, and the utility of each of their children. Altruism toward children implies that the welfare of all generations of a family is linked through a dynastic utility function that depends on the consumption, fertility, and number of descendants in all generations. The head of a dynastic family acts as if he maximizes dynastic utility subject to a dynastic budget constraint, which involves the wealth inherited by the head, interest rates, the cost of rearing children in all generations, and the earnings of all descendants. The authors neglect uncertainty, marriage, the spacing of births, and capital-market restraints over life cycles and across generations. Nevertheless, even a highly simplified model of altruism toward children and the behavior of dynastic families appears to us to capture important important aspects of the dynamic behavior of fertility and consumption. If so, a new approach would be warranted to the analysis of trends and long-term fluctuations in fertility, population growth, and consumption.
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  7. 7

    The priority of nutrition in a nation's development.

    Sai FT

    In: Ghosh PK, ed. Health, food and nutrition in Third World development. Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1984. 61-76. (International Development Resource Books No. 6)

    Chronic malnutrition, in contrast to famine, is a grossly neglected but very serious problem in developing countries. Efforts must be made to acquaint authorities with the seriousness of the problems, to identify the causes of chronic malnutrition, and to develop effective programs to deal with the problem. Chronic undernourishment or subtle hunger receives little attention because 1) nutrition is a relatively new science; 2) those most seriously malnourished, i.e., poor women and children, have little power or influence; and 3) politicians are more likely to support programs with highly visible results, and the results of improving nutrition are subtle and not always immediately detectable. Attention should be directed to the problem by conducting epidemiological studies to demostrate that the growth and development of children is highly dependent on good nutrition. Indices for measuring growth and development are available and studies could be designed to show how these indices vary by social class or by geographical region. Other studies could demostrate how morbidity and mortality rates for nutrition related diseases can be reduced by improving nutrition. Weak points in the food chain which contribute to the problems of chronic malnutrition are delineated and include such factors as low agricultural production, deficient transportation systems, and the low food purchasing power of large segments of the population. Governments should be encouraged to develop national food policies, and the ministries of agriculture, health, education, and social welfare should be encouraged to play a role in combating chronic malnutrition. The protein deficit crisis in developing countries can be averted by 1) increasing the production of animal proteins, fish and marine resources, and food crops, especially protein-rich crops; 2) expanding research programs to improve the protein quality of cereals, to increase the yield of forage crops, and to develop new protein sources; 3) reducing the unnecessary loss of food by improving storage, transport, and processing procedures; 4) promoting the use of formulated protein foods and educating the public about protein production and consumption; 5) developing programs to improve the protein intake of the most disadvantaged segments of the population and to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases which prevent the full utilization of protein by the body; and 6) promoting training in agriculture, food science, and nutrition. A reduction in population growth and an increase in economic growth would also contribute toward a decline in chronic malnutrition.
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  8. 8

    Migrant behavior and the effects of regional prices: aspects of migrant selection in Colombia [tables]

    Schultz TP

    [Unpublished] 1983. Presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 14-16, 1983. 3 p.

    If the preferences of potential migrants differ for activities and the structure of prices of these activities differ across regions, price variation may help to explain both who migrates and to where, and systematic behavioral differences between migrants and nonmigrants in consumption and investment, particularly as reflected in family size, child schooling, and child health. Colombia and Brazil are considered in the empirical analysis because these diverse countries involve traditional and dynamic frontier rural areas as well as urban centers where relative prices discourage high fertility and encourage schooling and health investments. (author's)
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