Abstract

This article analyzes demographic responses to the 1984–1985 Ethiopian famine and compares them with Bongaarts and Cain’s (1982) hypothesized responses. After briefly describing the data collection, I estimate the age distribution and the age-specific mortality and fertility rates of Ethiopian famine victims in a resettlement area and compare these with mortality estimates for the 1972–1973 Bangladesh famine and with fertility estimates from the 1981 Ethiopian demographic survey. The results show that the mortality rate among Ethiopian famine victims was about seven times higher than the rate among the Bangladesh victims and that the Ethiopian famine-related mortality was general and not a function of household socioeconomic variables. The data also show a 26 percent lower total fertility rate among famine victims.

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