Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Geography and Environmental Resources

First Advisor

Lant, Christopher

Abstract

This research explores the concept of descendant insurance and its efficiency as a calculated estimate of a country's fertility rates based on the infant or child mortality rates of the same country. A database of 191 countries was used to evaluate the concept by nation. The results suggest that descendant insurance plays a significant roll in decreasing total fertility rates. Prediction strength for many countries can be increased greatly by incorporating time lags into the model. Adding a lag component produced strong results for predicting fertility rates in countries where many previous studies have failed to find significant fertility trends. The results of the analysis provide further evidence for the argument that preventing infant and child deaths is a driving factor for decreasing fertility rates.

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