Perceiving Mortality Decline
Population and Development Review, 2000, vol. 26, issue 4, 795-819
In the demographic literature on developing countries, studies of mortality perceptions are conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps it has been assumed that when mortality declines, the decline will be quickly recognized by individuals and will then influence their demographic decisions. The possibility of substantial lags and biases in risk perception, which cause individual perceptions to diverge from the changing empirical realities, has not been much considered. Yet studies in cognitive and social psychology indicate that individual mortality perceptions are likely to be diffuse and may well be biased upward in relation to the declining empirical risks. If individuals are poorly equipped to recognize mortality decline, so too may be social groups—social learning will not necessarily correct individual misapprehensions. This note discusses the perceptual limitations that may delay recognition of mortality decline and examines the implications for demographic behavior in three areas: modern health care, fertility control, and children's schooling.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (16) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:popdev:v:26:y:2000:i:4:p:795-819
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0098-7921
Access Statistics for this article
Population and Development Review is currently edited by Paul Demeny and Geoffrey McNicoll
More articles in Population and Development Review from The Population Council, Inc.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().