Analysis of Latin American fertility in terms of probable social classes
European Journal of Population, 1–43 (2020)
Theories of demographic change have not paid enough attention to how factors associated with fertility decline play different roles across social classes that are defined multidimensionally. I use a multidimensional definition of social class along with information on the reproductive histories of women born between 1920 and 1965 in six Latin American countries to show the following: the enduring connection between social stratification and fertility differentials, the concomitance of diverse fertility decline trajectories by class, and the role of within- and between-class social distances in promoting/preventing ideational change towards the acceptance of lower fertility. These results enable me to revisit the scope of theories of fertility change and to provide an explanatory narrative centred on empirically constructed
social classes (probable social classes) and the macro- and micro-level conditions that influenced their life courses. I use 21 census samples collected between 1970 and 2005 in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Paraguay.