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Two Aspects of Fertility Behavior in South Africa

  • Gangadharan, Lata
  • Maitra, Pushkar

This paper examines the effects of individual, household and community characteristics on two aspects of fertility among South African women - the age at first conception and the number of pregnancies. We find that education has a significant effect in pushing back the age at first conception and in reducing the number of pregnancies. There is a thresh-hold level of education that must be attained before education starts delaying the age at first conception and the number of pregnancies for each woman. Women who are currently enrolled in school have lower number of pregnancies. Fertility cannot be examined in isolation of child mortality because child mortality can affect a woman's demand for birth by inducing her to replace her children who die. We therefore investigate the effect of child mortality on the number of pregnancies and find that while there is a replacement factor associated with fertility decisions the effect is not very strong when we make child mortality variables endogenous.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 50 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 183-200

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:50:y:2001:i:1:p:183-200
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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