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    Sirageldin I

    In: United Nations. Department of International and Social Affairs. Demographic transition and socio-economic development. New York, UN, 1979. 5-30. (Population Studies no. 65; ST/ESA/SER.A/65)

    The UN/UN Fund for Population Activity (UNFPA) Group Meeting on Demographic Transition and Socioeconomic Development, meeting in Istanbul, Turkey over the April 27-May 4th, 1977 period, examined the following: the current theoretical development relating to socioeconomic change to fertility; the variables and indicators used in the analysis; the sources of data and their utilization; the different analysis techniques and their limitations; and a sample of empirical studies. The discussion covered a wide range of issues and cut across the boundaries of the various disciplines. An attempt is made in this report of the proceedings to synthesize the various views and to highlight unresolved issues. The Group Meeting focused attention on the development of a conceptual framework that could serve as a general guide in assessing the impact of development on fertility. Due to the complex nature of the relationships examined, it was decided that the conceptual framework should focus more on basic determinants at the main points of control in demographic behavior. A general cost-benefit framework is used as the guiding paradigm for discussion. The level of fertility on any society is viewed as an outcome of systematic individual decision processes that are constrained by 3 sets of factors, representing various levels of aggregation: the individual's own personality characteristics and disposition, the socioeconomic context, and the normative context and institutional structure. The discussion attempted to examine these 3 sets of factors as they relate to fertility and as they change during the process of socioeconomic development. A social context for individual behavior is outlined as part of the conceptual framework; it defines 3 relative social positions. To understand the social structure it is necessary to concentrate on social classes and their roles in the ownership and management of the production process, social groups, and shifts in the levels and distribution of social output between the corporate and private sectors of society. The effect of socioeconomic development on individual calculating behavior was also examined. The provision of alternatives and options may result in a tendency towards more calculating behavior, which may eventually influence fertility behavior. A list was prepared of variables related to fertility and its determinants.
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