Biddlecom, Ann E., William G. Axinn, and Jennifer S. Barber. 2005. “Environmental Effects on Family Size Preferences and Subsequent Reproductive Behavior in Nepal.” Population and Environment 26(3):583-621.
This study investigates the relationship between environmental degradation and men and women’s family size preferences and subsequent reproductive behaviors in Nepal. We draw on unique environmental data at the local level, household and individual-level survey data and individuals reproductive behavior over a 3 year time period in Western Chitwan Valley, Nepal. Results from Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regression models show that poorer environmental quality and greater reliance on publicly owned natural resources are associated with higher family size preferences and higher rates of pregnancy. The analyses provide support for the “vicious circle” argument that environmental degradation can lead to rising population growth via positive effects on fertility. As environmental conditions decline and when households rely on public lands for natural resources, men and women desire larger family sizes and women are more likely to get pregnant in the near future.
Ghimire, Dirgha J., and Paul Mohai. 2005. “Environmentalism and Contraceptive Use: How People in Less Developed Settings Approach Environmental Issues.” Population and Environment 27(1):29-61.
The rise in environmental concerns around the globe has prompted increasing research on the links between such concerns and behavior. However, most studies have focused on pro-environmental behaviors in affluent western societies, such as willingness to pay for environmental protection, pro-environmental political actions, and consumption patterns. Using multiple data sets from the Chitwan Valley Family Study in Nepal, this paper examines the impact of environmental perceptions on contraceptive use in a rural agricultural setting. The results of our analyses show that perceptions about certain aspects of the environment are related to individuals’ subsequent use of contraceptives. Specifically, those individuals who think that their environment—agricultural productivity—has deteriorated are more likely to use contraceptives than those who think that their environment has improved or has remained about the same. This study thus provides a first step in our understanding of the relationships between environmental perceptions and fertility behavior in a less developed setting.