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An econometric analysis of fertility transition in Turkey

Yaşıt, Bilge
Fertility levels are investigated in the thesis because significant changes have occurred recently in the fertility levels in Turkey. It is necessary to understand the factors related to fertility level declines to determine how people behave with regard to their fertility in Turkey. It is only after understanding people’s behavior then it is possible to develop appropriate social and governmental policies. It is possible to evaluate the fertility level declines from different points of view. There are two opposite approaches when evaluating fertility level declines. One of the approaches explaining fertility level declines is the demographic transition theory which uses “modernization” as the cause of fertility level declines. The “other” approach is the opposite approach to the modernization theory. Both of these approaches are acceptable approaches from different views. However; this thesis is not written to prove either one of these approaches. The demographic transition or the modernization perspective is used as a tool to determine the variables which cause fertility levels to decline in Turkey. The aim is to provide an understanding of the determinants of fertility levels in Turkey by constituting an econometric model of fertility across the provinces of Turkey by using the panel data estimation. Data for the variables can be found in years from 1980 to 2000. One of the purposes of this thesis in investigating the fertility level declines is to identify which changes occurred in Turkey related to fertility levels between the years 1980-1985, 1985-1990 and 1990-2000. It is found that urbanization gained importance in effecting fertility level declines in the 1985-1990 period as compared to the 1980-1985 period. The other purpose of this thesis is to investigate how different are the fertility levels in the Provinces Prioritized in Development from the “other” provinces. Although contraception usage is important in effecting fertility levels in the “other” provinces, this factor is not important in effecting fertility levels in the Provinces Prioritized in Development.