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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Population Studies
Title Economic status proxies in studies of fertility in developing countries: Does the measure matter?
Volume 56
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Page numbers 81-96
URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/lps/2002/00000056/00000001/art00007
This paper investigates the consequences of using different economic status proxies on the estimated impact of economic status and other determinants of fertility. Using micro survey data from Ghana and Peru, we find that the proxies for income that best predict fertility are a principal components score of the ownership of consumer durable goods and a simple sum of ownership of these durable goods. Furthermore, the choice of the proxy generally has a minor influence on the predicted effects of the control variables. We compare the results from using a restricted set of proxies, such as those available in the Demographic and Health Surveys, with the results obtained using a lengthier set of proxies. Our results suggest implications beyond fertility analyses by providing researchers with an awareness of the sensitivity of microanalyses to the treatment of economic status. Our results also suggest practical recommendations for the collection of survey data.

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