Causes and consequences of the fertility stall in Israel: the case of Jewish settlers

Anaïs Simard-Gendron, Université de Montréal
Simona Bignami, Université de Montréal

Although the literature about fertility dynamics in Israel is abundant, no demographic research has yet focused on the Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories. Their fertility has been stable for at least fifteen years with a TFR of 4.99 children per woman in 2011 (ICBS) at a level well above their counterparts in Israel and despite some major changes in lifestyles and living conditions. The aim of this paper is thus to analyze the factors associated with a stalling fertility decline among this specific Jewish subgroup. Three waves from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) are used from 1991, 1998, and 2008. With stall in the fertility decline being the main outcome of interest, a probit regression model is used to assess the effect of changes in institutional, socioeconomic, and reproductive behaviour variables and changes in the TFR. We expect the most important change that contributes to the stall in Jewish fertility to be related to changes in the family planning services as reproductive health programs and fertility clinics emerged in Israel in the past decades. Furthermore, positive changes in the socio-economic conditions are to only have a slight negative impact on fertility. Such factors are believed to have a bigger impact on fertility behaviour than the ongoing conflict in the region, contrary to common beliefs.

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Presented in Poster Session 3