Education and fertility rates: some evidence from Africa

Erickson, Alexander Francis
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This research report aims to investigate the impact of both primary and secondary school enrolment on fertility rates. This analysis is taken across 47 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1975 to 2015. A panel time series analysis is used in this report to which fixed effects and pooled OLS models are considered. From the results, it is concluded that at lower educational levels such as primary school, fertility decision-making is scarcely affected. The results from secondary school enrolment are, however, significant and do have an impact on fertility decision-making. Based on Galor’s unified growth theory and the data analysed, it is concluded that sub-Saharan Africa is departing from the Malthusian stagnation epoch towards a modern growth regime as there is evidence of a child quality over quantity trade-off. Fertility reduction suggests that there are greater costs in bearing children, whilst, at the same time, implying greater productivity and human capital accumulation. In the long run, this results in economic growth and sustainable development. This research report, confide to sub-Saharan Africa, takes into consideration previous literature over a different time period, makes use of panel time series. This period is an interesting one, as it incorporates the change in democracy for many African nations along with a number of structural changes unfolding on the continent, both socio-economic and political. There are very few previous literature studies in the sub-Saharan African context that have exposed such findings. This research takes into consideration an identification strategy borrowed primarily from the works of Chisadza and Bittencourt, (2015) as well as Bittencourt (2016), testing the most accepted estimates from the literature. This research does not look at the causality between fertility (along with the explanatory and control variables assessed and discussed) and education, but rather at the strength of the correlations.
A Research Report submitted in partial fulfilment of the Degree of Master of Commerce (Economics/Economic Science) in the School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
Erickson, Alexander Francis, 2019, Education and fertility ratesb :some evidence from Africa, University of the Witwatersrand,