The Role of Political Conflict in the Rapid Fertility Decline in Nepal

David Hotchkiss, Tulane University
Mai Do, Tulane University
Paul Hutchinson, Tulane University
Simone Silva, Murray State University

From 1996 to 2006, Nepal experienced a political conflict between Maoist insurgents and government forces that claimed more than thirteen thousand lives. During the same period, the country experienced a fertility decline of 33 percent, from 4.6 to 3.1 births per women. The purpose of the study is to investigate the influence of political conflict on fertility and two intermediate determinants, modern contraceptive use and spousal separation, among rural women in Nepal. Data for the study come from the 2003-04 Nepal Living Standards Survey, a nationally representative household survey that is linked to a community survey of the availability of social services and the socio-economic environment faced by households, and to district-level data on the intensity of the conflict. Multivariate modeling techniques are used to estimate reduced-form and structural models that assess the influence of political conflict on fertility and the other outcomes of interest.

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Presented in Poster Session 1