An investigation into the relationship between infant mortality and fertility and the quality of life among the different states of India

Joseph Kuzhichalil, Fordham University

Abstract

Scholars may be divided in to two categories as far as their view regarding the interactions between infant mortality and fertility is concerned. Though both schools, to a certain extent recognize and admit the mutual effect of infant mortality and fertility rates on one another, they differ greatly with regard to policy prescriptions. One school believes that a fall in infant mortality will automatically lead to a fall in fertility and this can be considered to be an answer to the problems of many of the modern developing countries characterized by over-population, high rates of fertility and child mortality. The other school, on the other hand believes that what is needed is a fall in fertility and a decline in fertility will bring down the rate of high infant mortality prevailing in developing countries. This dissertation, however, does not see any serious difference or contradiction between the two approaches. It is because the major determinants of both infant mortality and fertility are the same and they act in the same direction. Moreover, this research tries to prove that it is the educational, cultural and social advancements that are more powerful than mere material economic or technical advancements in reducing fertility as well as infant and child mortality levels.^ With this perspective in view this research tries to analyze the complex interactions and the nature of the relationships between infant mortality and fertility rates of the different states and union territories of India which have been noted for their demographic, social, cultural and other diversities and to detect the quality of life in each of them. With this goal in view, this research tries to fulfill three basic objectives: to build up a theoretical model of child survival that would seek to expose the micro foundations of the macro variables at work, to evolve an empirical model for analyzing the impact of the major determinants of infant mortality and fertility and for exposing the interactions between infant mortality and fertility of the different states and union territories of India, and to develop an index of human advancement that can account for the quality of life as reflected on the levels of fertility, infant mortality and the phase of demographic transition of the state or region. This research uses secondary sources of data and utilizes the two stage least squares method to verify the model. The results are statistically significant and support the major claim of the dissertation. The Human Advancement Index formulated in this research is definitely an improvement over the UNDP's Human Development Index. It gives due emphasis on equity and justice, role of woman and her dignity in society and social and cultural considerations. Based on the empirical analyses and survey of data, this study brings forth some remarkable policy implications that relate to the need of demographic zones and fiscal reforms, re-evaluation of the depth of the population issues (no need of unnecessary fear; development is the best contraception), holistic approach to population policy and so forth. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General|Health Sciences, Public Health|Health Sciences, Health Care Management

Recommended Citation

Joseph Kuzhichalil, "An investigation into the relationship between infant mortality and fertility and the quality of life among the different states of India" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9730096.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9730096

Share

COinS