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Effects of Education on Determinants of High Desired Fertility: Evidence from Ugandan Villages

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Abstract

High desired fertility is an important factor contributing to the population explosion in sub-Saharan Africa. On a broad sample of 910 respondents from the rural areas of Uganda this paper assesses the impact of health risks, economic contributions from children, traditional community institutions and unequal position of women on desired fertility levels. The paper further scrutinizes how these determinants are affected by education. The results show that fear of diseases and involvement in traditional clan institutions increase desired number of children. Interestingly, these effects can be remarkably mitigated through education that improves the individual health prevention as well as reduces the influence of clans. Economic incentives for having children seem to be less significant than other factors. In addition, a very significant difference in desired fertility between men and women emerges, nevertheless education leads both to reduction and convergence of their desired fertility levels. All these findings suggest that education stimulates a complex change in fertility preferences and underline the importance of education as efficient tool for reducing rapid population growth.

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Paper provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its series Working Papers IES with number 2006/23.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision: Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2006_23

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Keywords: fertility; education; development; demography;

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  1. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
  2. Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2001. "Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 33-63.
  3. Ritva Reinikka & Paul Collier, 2001. "Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13850, February.
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