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The effect of child mortality on fertility behaviors is non-linear: new evidence from Senegal

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  • Marwân-al-Qays Bousmah

    () (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)

Abstract

Abstract The present paper examines the relationship between child mortality and fertility at the micro level. We use individual data collected quarterly within the health and demographic surveillance system of the rural community of Niakhar (Fatick, Senegal). Birth histories of 2,884 women born between 1932 and 1961 are analyzed. The determinants of completed fertility are investigated using a standard Poisson Regression Model. The global effect of child mortality on total and net fertility is found to be positive. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to provide evidence for the child survival hypothesis—an effect of child mortality on net fertility—at the micro level. We further identify an inverted-U shaped relationship between child mortality and net fertility. The implication is that health policies aiming at reducing child mortality have indirect effects on desired fertility; yet only a steep decrease in child mortality would be likely to trigger fertility declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Marwân-al-Qays Bousmah, 2017. "The effect of child mortality on fertility behaviors is non-linear: new evidence from Senegal," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 93-113, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-014-9264-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-014-9264-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Child mortality; Sub-Saharan Africa; Child survival versus replacement hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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