The Relationship between Extra-Familial Infant and Child Mortality and the Risk of Childbirth in a Nepalese Mountain Community

John Sandberg, University of Michigan

Though some debate exists about the effect of extra-familial infant and child mortality on desires and beliefs related to fertility, it is almost universally believed they cannot influence actual fertility in populations where modern fertility control is not practiced because widespread volitional control over family size is impossible. Using pooled birth history data from a small mountain village in Nepal, I test here whether the average network experience of infant mortality, measured through sociometric networks is significantly related to the hazard of birth for women with both fixed-effects and latent class discrete time logit survival models to capture unobserved heterogeneity. Tentative results of fixed effects models indicate that the average network experience of mortality, contrary to all expectations, does have a significant effect on the hazard of birth in some situations.

Presented in Session 10: Fertility Impact of Mortality Change