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

High desired fertility is an important factor contributing to the population explosion in sub-Saharan Africa. On a broad sample of 910 respondents from 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 disease and involvement in traditional clan institutions increase the desired number of children. Interestingly, these effects can be remarkably mitigated through education, which improves individual health prevention as well as reduces the influence of clans. The 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 to both 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 an efficient tool for reducing rapid population growth.

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Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its journal AUCO Czech Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 286-301

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Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2007_286
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  1. 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.
  2. Ritva Reinikka & Paul Collier, 2001. "Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13850.
  3. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
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