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Biodemography Soc Biol. 2014;60(1):67-86. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2014.899428.

The changing timing of births in Iran: an explanation of the rise and fall in fertility after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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a Department of Sociology , Nipissing University , North Bay , Ontario , Canada.


Studies exploring the course of period fertility in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution have not examined systematically the role played by changes in the timing of births. Using retrospective data from the 2000 Iran Demographic and Health Survey and frailty hazard models, this study finds that the rise in fertility in the early 1980s was due to faster transitions to the first birth among all social groups of women and to the fourth birth largely among illiterate and less educated women. In contrast, the rapid fertility decline after 1985 is attributed to slower transition to successive births, especially to the second, third, and fourth births. These findings point to the importance of education and contraceptive use (measured by length of previous birth interval) as key determinants of birth timing in Iran. Interaction between age at marriage and education positively influenced the timing of births, with stronger effects among highly educated women, suggesting that the onset of rapid fertility decline was likely driven by these highly educated women. Another interaction between the gender of prior children and education shows that birth timing, even among highly educated women, appears to have been influenced by son preference in Iran.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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