Educational Attainment and Intergenerational Patterns of Fertility Behaviour in Kenya

Walter D. Omariba, University of Western Ontario

This paper uses DHS data from Kenya to examine the differential effect of educational attainment on women's use of modern contraception and desire for cessation of childbearing across generations. Although there is a strong theoretical and empirical relationship between educational attainment and fertility behaviour, a fundamental issue that has largely been neglected is the change in this relationship across cohorts resulting from differential improvement in educational opportunities for women over time. Kenya offers an ideal context for this analysis as it is a pioneer in fertility transition and is one of the several exceptional sub-Saharan Africa countries that have witnessed significant growth in women education. The findings of the analysis have important implications for the sustenance of the fertility transition depending on the cohort where education has its greatest effect. The prospects of sustaining fertility decline would be lower if the largest effect is among the oldest cohort.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements