We use census data to investigate fertility change across more than 500 Brazilian microregions during 1970–2000, before and after controlling for local covariates. We use semivariograms to analyze spatial patterns, in order to investigate the importance of diffusion or social interaction in the spread of fertility transition across a map. Our analysis shows that spatial patterns in Brazilian fertility change are strongly related to spatial patterns in measurable local conditions such as electrification, child mortality, and female education. Differences in local conditions are particularly good at explaining spatial correlations at distances >500 km. At shorter distances, there remains some unexplained spatial correlation in fertility change that could be attributed to diffusion or social interaction.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2007
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