The Agricultural Transition and Fertility Decline in Developing Countries

Eric B. Jensen, Pennsylvania State University

Although the role of agriculture in fertility transition has a well developed theoretical literature, this relationship has received far less empirical attention. Despite dramatic urbanization over the last 100 years, populations in the developing world continue to be overwhelmingly rural and agricultural. However, almost all of these populations are undergoing a shift away from a large agrarian labor force to a more urbanized, industrialized, and modernized population. The unique demographic processes associated with this shift could be conceptualized as an "agricultural transition." This paper models the relationship between agricultural and fertility transitions using time series analysis and data extracted from the FOASTAT and UN Common Database for 100 developing countries from 1961-2004.

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Presented in Poster Session 6