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The empowerment of women, fertility, and child mortality: Towards a theoretical analysis

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  • Mukesh Eswaran

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, # 997-1873 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z1.)

Abstract

This paper examines one avenue through which female autonomy impinges on fertility and child mortality in developing countries. A simple model is set out in which couples are motivated to have children for old age security purposes. The decisions of a couple regarding fertility and allocation of resources for the healthcare of their children are made within a bargaining framework. An increase in female autonomy translating into an increase in the relative bargaining power or the threat point utility of mothers is shown to reduce fertility and also to reduce child mortality rates. Paradoxically, the increase in female autonomy within a household may increase the disadvantage suffered by female children in that household with respect to survival.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 433-454

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:3:p:433-454

Note: Received: 4 August 1999/Accepted: 7 September 2000
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Related research

Keywords: Child mortality · fertility · empowerment of women;

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Cited by:
  1. Federico Ciani & Gianna Claudia Giannelli, 2013. "Surviving the Genocide: The Impact of the Rwandan Genocide on Child Mortality," CHILD Working Papers Series 20, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  2. Doepke, Matthias & Tertilt, Michèle, 2008. "Women's Liberation: What's in It for Men?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kazuya Wada, 2011. "What Effect Does Female Autonomy Have on Child Health? Microeconometric Evidence from Rural India," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-202, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Alfonso Miranda, 2010. "A double-hurdle count model for completed fertility data from the developing world," DoQSS Working Papers 10-01, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  5. Seebens, Holger, 2006. "Bargaining over Fertility in Rural Ethiopia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2006 25, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  6. Miriam Steurer, 2009. "Children as Family Public Goods: Some Implications for Fertility," Discussion Papers 2009-04, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  7. Nathalie Guilbert & Karine Marazyan, 2013. "Being Born Out-of-Wedlock: Does it affect a Child’s Survival Chance? An Empirical Investigation for Senegal," Working Papers DT/2013/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  8. Alfonso Miranda, 2003. "Socio-economic characteristics, completed fertility, and the transition from low to high order parities in Mexico," Labor and Demography 0308001, EconWPA.
  9. Daniel Rosenblum, 2013. "The effect of fertility decisions on excess female mortality in India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 147-180, January.
  10. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Jacobus de Hoop & Berk Özler, 2014. "Girl Power: Cash Transfers and Adolescent Welfare. Evidence from Cluster-Randomized Experiment in Malawi," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Human Capital National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anderson, Siwan & Eswaran, Mukesh, 2009. "What determines female autonomy? Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 179-191, November.
  12. Guilbert, Nathalie, 2013. "Early Marriage, Women Empowerment and Child Mortality: Married Too Young To Be a «Good Mother»?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11404, Paris Dauphine University.
  13. Mizuki Komura, 2013. "Fertility and endogenous gender bargaining power," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 943-961, July.

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