Author: Sriya Iyer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019566048X
Do religious beliefs significantly affect demographic behavior? This volume addresses this key question and examines the theological content of Islam and Hinduism in the context of population growth. It also offers evidence that religious differences in fertility and tow of its proximate determinant, contraceptive choice and the age at marriage, are in fact, due to differences in socio-economic characteristics, such as access to education.
The econometric analysis is based on fieldwork carried out among Hindu, Muslim, and Christian women in a cluster of communities in the south Indian state of Karnataka. The determinants of women’s age at first marriage, their contraceptive choices and their fertility are modeled and analyzed, drawing inferences for population policy.
Using an inter-disciplinary framework, this book richly contributes to the debate about the consequences of religion for fertility differentials, and provides valuable insights for policy-makers in countries characterized by religious pluralism.
Demographers, economists, development researchers, gender specialists, and anthropologists will find the book an enriching read.
EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS
This is an exceptional work, at the interface of economics, demography, and anthropology. Iyer has sought evidence of the influence of religious culture on fertility behavior, as exemplified by age of marriage for women, fertility rate, and the desire for children… this book should be an entry point for anyone intending to study the question of religion, economic circumstances, and fertility behavior.
-Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge
interpreting her imaginative fieldwork in the light of anthropology, econometrics, law, and the study of religions, Sriya Iyer brilliantly advances our understanding of fertility differences. In her survey, neither characteristics affecting fertility nor fertility behavior for a given set of characteristics differ significantly between Hindus and Muslims. Yet, Muslim women average about one child more than Hindu women! This seems contradictory, but Sriya Iyer skillfully resolves the paradox. In so doing, she contributes something quite new to our grasp of what works and what fails, and why in population policy.
List of tables
I : RELIGION AND REPRODUCTION
II : RELIGION AND RAMANAGARAM
III : RELIGION AND THE DETERMINANTS OF FERTILITY