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A Juxtaposition of rational choice and socio-cultural approaches to explain changes in family size throughout the process of economic development using household survey data from Brazil

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10810

A Juxtaposition of rational choice and socio-cultural approaches to explain changes in family size throughout the process of economic development using household survey data from Brazil

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Title: A Juxtaposition of rational choice and socio-cultural approaches to explain changes in family size throughout the process of economic development using household survey data from Brazil
Author: Delfino, Daniel
Advisor(s): Coes, Donald
Committee Member(s): Santos, Richard
Thacher, Jennifer
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Economics
Subject: Fertility
Development
Culture
Becker
Heterodox
Survey
LC Subject(s): Fertility, Human--Brazil
Fertility, Human--Developing countries
Economic development--Social aspects--Brazil
Economic development--Social aspects--Developing countries
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: This research juxtaposes empirical approaches to analyze the relationship between fertility and economic development. Using household survey data from Brazil in the mid 1990’s, separate Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models are run that comparatively evaluate the explanatory power of divergent methods used to explain fertility in developing countries. Rational choice approaches, in the spirit of Gary S. Becker, are presented alongside approaches that account for heterogeneous socio-cultural traits to see which method explains more about family size in Brazil. The paper finds evidence to support the relevance of both the rational choice and the socio-cultural approaches to fertility studies. The research ultimately presents evidence that socio-cultural models generate relatively more explanatory power in the fertility analysis of Brazil than methods adopting the strict axioms of rational choice models from the Becker-era.
Graduation Date: May 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/10810


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