The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

A comparative analysis of determinants of birth intervals

Rodriguez, G., Hobcraft, J., McDonald, J., Menken, J. and Trussell, J. (1984) A comparative analysis of determinants of birth intervals In, WFS comparative studies: cross-national summaries (World Fertility Surveys). Voorburg, Netherlands, International Statistical Institute 31pp..

Record type: Book Section


The life-table approach is particularly appropriate to the analysis of birth intervals because a major pitfall of measurement can be avoided. If only intervals beginning with the birth of 1 child and ending with the next birth are considered, there is a major bias in any results because all information is omitted for women who stopped childbearing within that interval -- those who never had a subsequent birth or, in the case of data obtained from surveys, those whose reproductive histories may be incomplete at the time of the interview. New methods have become available that permit simultaneous analysis of life tables according to several covariates and produce more readily interpretable summary and comparative statistics. It is important to develop efficient ways of determining which hazard models are most likely to describe a particular data set well, so that exact estimation procedures are applied to only a small number of candidates for the final model. Thus, this discussion of the birth interval analysis is conducted in 2 parts: screening and final estimation. This is preceded by a brief discussion of the information used in the analysis. The decision was made to work with the 9 countries used by Hobcraft and Casterline (1983) and again by Gilks (1982) in his work on birth intervals. These include: Bangladesh, Colombia, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. The advantages of comparability with other work outweighed the marginal benefits of choosing a set of countries with optimal variability in terms of patterns of birth interval distributions. Even after controlling for all the factors in the final model, the adjusted quintums showed large variations between subgroups. For age at start of the interval, the differences in the adjusted quintums between the youngest and oldest groups was in excess of 0.2 for all countries except Kenya and, marginally, Jordan and was around 0.3 for Korea, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. At the other extreme differences between adjusted quintums by birth order exceeded 0.05 only for Korea, which had a large range of 0.20. These findings suggest that age is of far greater importance in determining fertility behavior than is birth order, even where there is known to be substantial fertility control, although Korea is a striking exception. A partial explanation of the unusual pattern of Korea is the impact of sex preference.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: May 1984
Keywords: Korea, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Asia, Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, South America, Caribbean, Central America, birth intervals, fertility measurements, measurement, models, ethical research methodology, birth order, family characteristics, family and household, age factors, population characteristics, population educational status, sex preference, ideal family size, developed countries Asia, developing countries South America, Northern Latin America, Americas, Middle East, Africa, Eastern Africa, South of the Sahara, North America, fertility, population dynamics, demographic factors, family relationships, socioeconomic status, socioeconomic factors, economic factors, value orientation, psychological factors, behavior, family size


Local EPrints ID: 34290
PURE UUID: 407720a1-c4b1-4521-a18b-78ae0a32167c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Mar 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:50

Export record


Author: G. Rodriguez
Author: J. Hobcraft
Author: J. McDonald
Author: J. Menken
Author: J. Trussell

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.