Multilevel Analysis of Current Fertility in Cambodia

Bunnak Poch, University of Chicago

Until recently, Cambodia stood out as one of the few countries in South East Asia with high fertility. In this paper, we seek to explain why fertility in Cambodia remains high and whether the commune characteristics shape fertility behavior beyond and above individual characteristics. The 2000 Cambodian DHS data were merged with the 1998 commune-level Census data. Current fertility was regressed separately for women aged 15-29 and 30-44 on five contextual and seven individual factors. Our results show that the individual factors have stronger effects than do the contextual variables. Even so, the effect of the commune-level education is substantial for younger women and increasing in the proportion of children enrolled in school is important for lowering the current fertility among older women. Family planning policy makers should consider development factors beyond socio-economic characteristics of husbands and wives in lowering fertility in Cambodia. Further discussions and implications are provided.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility Determinants, Family Planning, and Sexual Behavior