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Determinants of Fertility and Poverty in Ghana

  • 2011-2013
  • Project
Onuoha, Nkechi, Clark University

Study: “Determinants of Fertility and Poverty in Ghana”
PI: Onuoha, Nkechi
Affiliation: Clark University
Funding Partner: IIE
Project Dates:
Start: 2011
End: 2013
Data Source(s): Ghana DHS
Method(s): Instrumental variable estimation, spatial filtering, spatial lag regression
Geographic Location: Ghana, United States; US Census; National Vital Statistics Report and the American Heritage Time Use Survey

Description:
This dissertation examines the causes of fertility variations in both Ghana and the U.S. as well as the impacts of family size on children in Ghana. The researcher examines the impact of the number of children in the household on child malnutrition outcomes, and findings suggest that the number of children is negatively correlated with child malnutrition outcomes in the short-term but not in the long run.

This research also examines the impact of socioeconomic factors, contraceptive use, and social networking systems on fertility variations among women in Ghana using data from the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys from 1988 to 2008. Looking at whether women in close proximity to each other interact with and influence each other’s fertility behavior, the research finds that socioeconomic, contraceptive use, and social networking factors are determinants of women’s fertility rates in Ghana. However, women who use contraceptives appear to have more children than women who do not. This may be the result of some underlying reverse causality where women who already have a large number of children use contraceptives to slow down their fertility.

Finally, the research investigates the influence of fathers’ time spent in child care on women’s fertility rates in the U.S. Previous research has found that the more time that fathers spend take care of their children, the higher the fertility. The analysis of a variety of U.S. population level data sets does not support the previous literature.

Research Outputs:
Owoo, Nkechi Srodah Onuoha. (2012). Causes and consequences of fertility in the U.S. and Ghana: A spatial econometric approach (Doctoral dissertation). Clark University, Worcester, MA.

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