IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/chm/wpaper/wp2010-1.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of wealth and female autonomy on fertility decisions in Nepal: An econometric analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Njård Håkon Gudbrandsen

Abstract

Over the last fifteen years, the fertility rate in Nepal has declined significantly. In the same period, the country has, despite political unrest and a civil war, experienced economic growth. In contrast with its neighboring countries, India and China, Nepal has not used legal action to limit its population growth. The fertility rate in Nepal is now below India’s and is reaching the replacement rate. In this thesis I explore the role of families’ wealth and female autonomy in determining individual fertility. Using cross-sectional household data from 2006, I test the effect of wealth, female autonomy and other socioeconomic factors on the number of children. Except for wealth and female autonomy, emphasis is put on the strong preference for boys in Nepalese society. Preference for boys is tested using the gender of the first child as a natural experiment. The theoretical foundation is based on Gary Becker’s work, which assumes a trade-off between the number of children and the human capital invested in them. My findings suggest that female autonomy is an important determinant of individual fertility, with households where the husband has relatively more power having significantly more children compared to other groups. Wealth and education are also important determinants, but the effect of female education is only significant for low levels of education. A preference for boys is present and this might have consequences, as sex-selective abortions are a potential threat when son preferences are accompanied by decreasing fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Njård Håkon Gudbrandsen, 2010. "The impact of wealth and female autonomy on fertility decisions in Nepal: An econometric analysis," CMI Working Papers 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2010-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/3740-the-impact-of-wealth-and-female-autonomy-on.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Magnus Hatlebakk, 2017. "Son Preference, Number of Children, Education and Occupational Choice in Rural Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-20, February.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2010-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Robert Sjursen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cmiiino.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.