Recent literature proposes that poverty could lead women to remain childless, thus attenuating or reverting higher fertility typically observed among women of lower schooling level. We explore the role of health in this approach: does health have a distinctive detrimental effect on fertility among women of lower schooling levels? To that end, we compute the gap in the definite childlessness rate by self-reported disability status across schooling levels. Due to the scarcity of survey data from definite childless women, in addition to the small sample sizes, we use census samples. Focusing on women between 40-50 years old and using 23 census samples from Latin America countries (2000-2011), we found that only in the group with lower schooling level there is a clear gap in the definite childlessness rate by self-reported disability status. From our descriptive analysis we conclude that health could indeed play an influential role in the childless by poverty approach.
Castro, R., & Tapia, J. (2021). Health, childlessness and poverty in latin american countries. Cadernos de Saude Publica, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311X00248919