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Educational Attainment Differences Between Population Groups In South Africa And The Timing And Number Of Births

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  • Siv Gustafsson
  • Adriaan Kalwij
  • Seble Worku

Abstract

From 1981 to 2005, the total fertility rate in South Africa has been reduced from an estimated level of 4.6 to 2.8 children per woman. The relative differences in the total fertility rate between population groups, however, remain large. Our empirical analysis of the determinants of the timing of births shows that better-educated women schedule birth later and have fewer children. The differences in education between population groups account for a substantive part (up to 40%) of the differences in completed fertility between the population groups. Our findings suggest that educational reforms aimed at equal access to education, which benefit African women most, may not only improve the quality of life of women but also, through their impact on fertility behaviour, yield long-run benefits, as they will have fewer children and more resources to invest in the next generation. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Economic Society of South Africa.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Society of South Africa in its journal South African Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 77 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 471-487

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Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:471-487

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