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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Journal of Scientific Research of the Faculty of Commerce
Title Demand for children in Egypt: Case study Rosetta region
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohamed_Abdrabo/publication/236865688_Demand_for_children_in_Egy​pt_Case_study_Rosetta_region/links/00463519b41afca687000000.pdf
Rapid population growth has been, for decades, one of the main issues of
concern in developing countries, particularly when considered in relation to both
poverty and increasing pressures on the environment and natural resources.
Accordingly, most developing countries have adopted family planning programmes in
order to reduce fertility rates, with varying degrees of success. This has led to
significant variations in the growth rates as well as the age structure of populations.
However, it is argued, in this respect, that demand for children, which can vary widely
and is the driving force behind fertility changes and would be expected to dominate
family decisions.
This paper examines the demand for children in a peri-urban area in Egypt,
namely Rosetta, attempting to identify the factors that may influence such demand.
For that purpose, it starts with a review of the factors that may impact the demand for
children, which is followed by review the fertility patterns and government action to
reduce fertility rates. Thereafter, a brief presentation of the study site and prevailing
conditions there as well as the field work including questionnaire form design and
sampling work is discussed. Then, the analysis of the data and information collected
is presented and followed by the conclusion of the work.
It was found that several socio-economic variables have been shown to play
a significant role in the determination of differentials in demand for children including;
education, work of wife, age, preference for a son, income levels and children drop
out from schools. Accordingly, it could be suggested that a birth control policy should
focus not only on providing birth control devices but also attempting to change the
costs and benefits of children. This could only be achieved by targeting the
socioeconomic factors underlying the demand for children. For instance, a better, low
cost, education for children that could lead to higher individual returns for educated
people could encourage parents to educate their children and focus more on the
quality versus number of children. Encouraging women autonomy that could be
achieved not only by encouraging female education but also by access to knowledge,
economic resources, and the degree of autonomy enjoyed by her in the process of
making decisions and choices at crucial points in the life cycle.

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