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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of biosocial science
Title Spouses' socioeconomic characteristics and fertility differences in sub-Saharan Africa: does spouse's education matter?
Author(s)
Volume 33
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Page numbers 481-502
URL http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=86303
Abstract
Although the general objective of this study is to examine the extent to which spouses’ socioeconomic characteristics determine whether modern contraception is used and whether family limitation (the demand for no more children) is desired, its central goal is to evaluate the degree to which the net effect of a woman’s education on those fertility decisions is altered once a control is made for the level of schooling of the husband. Individual characteristics of spouses included as controls in this analysis are on the one hand women’s attributes relating to employment, age, parity, ethnic identity, and urban residence and, on the other hand, the occupation of the husband. Data used in this research are provided by DHS surveys conducted in fourteen sub-Saharan countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Senegal, Ghana, Central African Republic, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Rwanda. With two dichotomous outcome variables, logistic regression was used to estimate two nested models for each dependent variable and for each country covered by the study. DHS respondents used as units of analysis in this study are women who were married (any kind of union) and non-pregnant at the time when each national survey was conducted. The findings suggest that, while an educated wife needs the support of an educated husband to state a preference for family limitation in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa, controlling for husband’s education and other relevant covariates does little to undermine the evidence that woman’s advanced education and the adoption of modern family planning are positively related in the developing world.

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