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About the study

Published in Population Studies

Population Studies journal cover

Abstract Despite demographers’ long-standing preoccupation with the effects of child mortality on women’s fertility desires, scholars continue to know little about the consequences of other pervasive mortality exposures. We use nationally representative data from the high-mortality context of Peru to examine whether the desire to have a(nother) child varies as a function of sibling loss and to assess heterogeneity in this association by women’s current number of children and a range of conditions related to siblings’ deaths. Women who have experienced sibling bereavement and have two or more children report higher odds of desiring another child. These effects are not contingent on the age or sex of the deceased sibling but are only significant if the sibling died during the respondent’s lifetime (not before). These findings highlight the theoretical and empirical import of investigating the relationship between fertility desires and a wider range of familial mortality exposures beyond own child mortality.