Abstract

Cohort parity analysis (CPA) is a method for indirect measurement of the extent and timing of the adoption of fertility control within marriage. It uses information on the parity distribution of a cohort of women of specified marriage ages and durations. A multinomial model of parity provides a convenient framework for the computation of distributional parameters describing the extent to which marital fertility control has been accepted and characterizing the way control has been used within specific durations of marriage. This leads to a pair of easily implemented formulas for upperand lower-bound estimates of the expected proportion of the population ever controlling and the distribution of controllers by parity. The power of CPA is illustrated, using census data for currently married couples in Dublin, Belfast, and other county boroughs of Ireland in 1911.

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