Fertility and the environment in a natural resource

Fertility and the environment in a natural resource

Fertility and the environment in a natural resource dependent economy: Evidence from Petn, Guatemala Elizabeth G. Sutherland 1, 2 David L. Carr 2 Sin L. Curtis 1, 2 1. Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2. Carolina Population Center

Introduction Natural resource use and access have long been thought to be important in shaping rural fertility patterns Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the relationships between natural resources and fertility This study tests these natural resource-fertility hypotheses in the Petn, an agricultural frontier in Northern Guatemala

Study Setting Petn- a tropical agricultural frontier dramatic population growth high rates of deforestation Map of Guatemala Showing the Petn N

Petn W Belize Mexico Guatemala

Honduras El Salvador 0 200 Miles E S

Study Setting Petn- a tropical agricultural frontier dramatic population growth high rates of deforestation Petenero Family of Children Study Setting Petn- a tropical agricultural frontier dramatic population growth

high rates of deforestation Deforestation in the Petn Data and Methods Data for this study comes from the 1998/1999 Encuesta de Salud Materno Infantil Individual questionnaires

Data and Methods In addition, in the Petn, a household survey on health, migration, and natural resources was conducted Data and Methods Multivariate regression (n=404) Do natural resource variables predict the number of living children?

Controls in the Model Maternal factors Household factors Hypothesis Supported? Land Labor Hypothesis Land Security

Hypothesis Frontier Hypothesis Cattle Hypothesis Common Property Resources Hypothesis Unsupported Unsupported Unsupported Supported

Unsupported Mean number of living children among households perceiving land as available or unavailable for children Mean number of living children 6

5 4.94 4.13 4 3 2 1 0

land available land unavailable Perception of land availability for children Mean number of living children among households who own and do not own cattle Mean number of living

children 6 5 4.93 3.89 4 3

2 1 0 Owns cattle Does not own cattle Cattle ownership Conclusions no support for many natural resourcefertility hypotheses

some evidence that cattle ownership and perception of land availability for children relate to fertility cross-sectional data Future Research longitudinal or panel data multilevel models and qualitative analyses

Questions?

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