The impact of violence on fertility: Cambodia during and after the Khmers Rouges

Patrick Heuveline, University of Chicago
Bunnak Poch, University of Chicago

The study of mortality crises provides an unusual and valuable perspective on the relationship between mortality and fertility changes, a relationship that has puzzled demographers for decades. We present here the first evidence taken from a large population that attests to a one-third decline in fertility during the Khmer Rouge regime, followed by a baby-boom produced by a two-year marriage burst and a decade of marital fertility above its pre-Khmer-Rouge levels. Our findings illustrate the potential influence of mortality on fertility, which may be more difficult to identify for more gradual mortality declines. They also reinforce recent qualifications about the meaning of the core concept of natural fertility.

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Presented in Session 118: The demography of conflict and violence