Abstract

In this paper an attempt is made to elaborate on the behavioral assumptions underlying a simulation model published in a previous volume of this journal (Heer and Smith, 1968). The present paper contains a discussion of the ways in which a fall in the death rate of children will affect the desirability of another birth if the family's objective is to have a son surviving to the father's sixty-fifth birthday. The death rate affects both the expected costs of and benefits from an additional birth. An examination of the effects of a decline in child mortality indicates that the benefits from an additional birth fall and the expected costs rise as a result of the decline. Thus a death rate will eventually be reached where costs exceed benefits, and parents will not desire an additional pregnancy.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.

References

Banks, J. A. (
1954
).
Prosperity and Parenthood: A Study of Family Planning Among the Victorian Middle Classes
.
London
:
Routledge and Kegan, Paul Limited
.
Branson, W. H. (
1968
).
Social legislation and the birth rate in nineteenth century Britain
.
Western Economic Journal
,
6
,
134
144
.
Heer, David M., & Smith, Dean O. (
1968
).
Mortality level, desired family size, and population increase
.
Demography
,
5
,
104
121
. 10.2307/2060199