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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
Title Tempo and Quantum of Fertility in Iran: An Application of the Synthetic Parity Progression Ratio Method
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
City Busan
Country/State Korea
URL http://iussp.org/sites/default/files/event_call_for_papers/Hosseini-McDonaldSynPPRIUSSP.pdf
Abstract
After a sharp fall in the 1990s, Iran’s fertility decline slowed down during the 2000s and TFR has
fallen to around replacement level. Following two decades of fertility control policies, more recently,
the Iranian Government has been concerned that fertility will fall to a very low level and a draft
pronatalist policy has been designed and is being put to the parliament. The concern has been based
on estimates that Iran’s current fertility is as low as 1.6 births per woman but there are questions
about the reliability of estimates of fertility. There is a near-to-complete birth registration system
but how near-to-complete is unknown. Own children estimates are possible but they too may not be
sufficiently reliable. Furthermore, cross-sectional fertility measures can be confounded by changes in
the timing of births across women's lifetimes (tempo) as well as by changes in the numbers of
children that they have by the time they end their childbearing (quantum). When the age-based TFR
is used, tempo and quantum can be assessed a long time after the fact by comparing the TFR for real
birth cohorts with the cross-sectional or synthetic TFR. This is normally done by an offset or lag
between the two series that is equivalent to the mean age of childbearing. The problems involved in
assessing tempo and quantum using the age-based TFR can be overcome to a very large extent as
we show in this paper by using parity progression ratios.
The findings suggest that the Iran TFR is levelling off around replacement level and that tempo
effects evident particularly in the 1990s are no longer evident.

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