Migration and Fertility in Coastal Ghana: An Event History Analysis

Michael J. White, Brown University
Salahudin S. Muhidin, Université de Montréal
Catherine N. Stiff, Brown University
Rodney J. Knight, Principia International

In this paper we undertake an event history analysis of fertility in Ghana. We exploit detailed life history calendar data to conduct a more refined analysis of the relationship between personal traits, urban residence and fertility. Although urbanization is associated with lower fertility in developing country settings, most studies have been hampered by lack of information about the timing of residence in relationship to childbearing. The effect of urbanization itself is strong, evident, and complex, even after controlling for the effects of age, cohort and education. Continuously urban residents exhibit fertility rates that are about 15% lower than rural women at every parity. Rural-urban movers, by contrast, exhibit a very parity-specific pattern, with faster progression to first birth and slower progression to second birth. Our results suggest that the urbanization effect on reducing fertility occurs more in later generations than within the rural-urban migrant generation itself.

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Presented in Session 79: Fertility Transitions in Ghana