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Trade Openness and Fertility Rates in Africa: Panel-Data Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Manoel Bittencourt

    () (School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)

  • Matthew Clance

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

  • Yoseph Y. Getachew

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Abstract

We study the effect of trade openness on fertility rates in fifty African countries during the 1970 – 2010 period. Allowing for country and time fixed effects, our results indicate that trade openness and imports of manufactured goods are related to lower fertility. Furthermore, trade with the former colonial powers and imports of high-skilled manufactured goods, which include television receivers and telecommunications equipment, are related to lower fertility too. Although Africa still export agricultural products and raw materials, and in contrast with the comparative-advantages prediction, our results suggest that the knowledge and gender norms emanating from imported high-skilled manufactured goods are affecting fertility choices and, ultimately, having a reinforcing effect on Africa's ongoing demographic transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Manoel Bittencourt & Matthew Clance & Yoseph Y. Getachew, 2018. "Trade Openness and Fertility Rates in Africa: Panel-Data Evidence," Working Papers 201856, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201856
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dierk Herzer & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 357-385, December.
    2. Luis Angeles, 2010. "Demographic transitions: analyzing the effects of mortality on fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 99-120, January.
    3. Thomas Gries & Rainer Grundmann, 2014. "Trade and fertility in the developing world: the impact of trade and trade structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1165-1186, October.
    4. Dalton Conley & Gordon C. McCord & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2007. "Africa's Lagging Demographic Transition: Evidence from Exogenous Impacts of Malaria Ecology and Agricultural Technology," NBER Working Papers 12892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1143-1179.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Handel og fertilitet – og TV – i Afrika
      by Christian Bjørnskov in Punditokraterne on 2018-12-04 13:33:17

    More about this item

    Keywords

    openness; fertility; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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