Essay Example on Demographic Transition Theory in India

Introduction. The technocratic illusion is that any developmental effort seamlessly results in the panache of growth and prosperity. Treading on the same path is the pursuit of modernization resulting in mortality decline. A naïve Malthusian approach would be to associate the burden of extra people with modernization. The central idea of the demographic transition theory is that the decline in fertility is an ex-post response to the decline in infant and child mortality. It is recognized that this fertility decline often occurs with a lag. India in its course of time has seen mortality decline since the early 1980s through socio-economic enhancements. Although performing better than its neighboring economies. India has shown spatial variance of such lags. The presence of these lags results in elusiveness in the envisaged quest for prosperity. This paper uses deductive analysis from various economic theories to rationale such behavior. Beckers theory has been instrumental in understanding the demographic transition. As per his theory development increases the costs of childbearing and results in decline infertility. The primary workhorse model used in this paper is based on a suitable extension of the Beckerman model. His core theory emphasized the effects of family planning programs and contraceptive availability being more complex than the general notion and our assessment of their roles.

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 The paper integrates the requirements to analyze the perceptions associated with the representative agents of our model which are the collective population of a geographical region. Without categorization there is no association, without association, there is no perception. Adding the perceptive capability to the representative agents would hence necessitate categorization which would reduce the extent of the usage of classical mechanics methodology which is a kernel of synthesis in neoclassical theory. Instead, the theoretical framework should be a collection of several well-established findings of different branches of behavioral science which must analyze the dynamics of uncertainties from the point of theoretical statistics. The same will result in an analytical theory of institutions that will discount the above-mentioned elusiveness in the envisaged quest for prosperity. The central proposition of demographic transition theory is that declines in infant and child mortality encourage a subsequent decline in fertility Montgomery 1999. In his esteemed work Mortality Decline and the Demographic Response, the rationale of the decision process has three basic themes.

Firstly individual perceptions of health levels and trends including mortality risks with the concept of social learning being prominent. Secondly the overlap of modern and traditional health care systems and associated beliefs with an emphasis on the perceived efficacy of modern modes of prevention and treatment. Lastly, the role played by perceived mortality risks and health in affecting parental investments in schooling with attention to adult as well as child mortality and health. Montgomery addresses the first two aspects as insurance or hoarding effect by which parental expectations of child loss cause fertility to be higher than if survival was assured. The last one connects changing perceptions of mortality to parental motivations for human capital investment. The current literature on mortality effects is marked by an interesting disjuncture between the implications of macro-level time series and micro-level research. Following Schultz 1994 it is possible that mortality decline puts in train a series of responses and counter-responses some of which involve capital accumulation and growth that eventually cultivates in lower fertility, lower mortality and lower net reproduction rate. Galloway et al 1998 while studying an aggregate level study on Prussia suggested that initial mortality decline could set off more than compensating fertility responses Preston 1978 gave two further mechanisms individual level by which mortality decline affects fertility.

First lactation serving here with an interruption effect and secondly the behavior replacement effect which is a deliberate parental strategy to conceive so as to replace a dead child. Responsiveness of individual fertility to the loss of a child was less than one for one as stated by the esteemed work of Preston 1978 as well as Montgomery and Cohen 1998. If history is indeed a story of greater than compensating responses then the search mechanism should shift to insurance effect and other aspects of family behavior linked indirectly to mortality that could strengthen the feedbacks from demographics to economic change Montgomery 1999. In social theory, agency refers to individuals specifically to their capacity to act as agents on their own behalf. Human’s ability to exercise their free will and engage in instrumental action to change the environment. Structure, on the other hand, is everything that keeps humans from exercising their free will from acting as autonomous agents. Social class, education religion, gender, ethnicity, customs etc. including genetic and biological constraints are all forms of this structure SECTION II Pathways of Mortality and Fertility. The textbook transition scheme of mortality and fertility proposes that fertility follows child mortality with a lag. Developing countries show a variety of such transition paths Bangladesh Pakistan in South Asia Brazil Columbia Mexico in Latin America, Indonesia, Malaysia in Southeast Asia, Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, in Africa all show the proposed textbook path of transition. However, the time duration of the lag varies within these nations. On the other end, India did not show any such lag in fertility decline following mortality decline.

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