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Effects of Reproductive Health Outcomes on Primary School Attendance: A Sub-Saharan Africa Perspective

  • 2009
  • Working Paper
Smits, Jeroen & Longwe, Abiba

City: Nijmegen

Publisher/Institution: Nijmegen Center for Economics

Abstract: To what extent and in which ways does poor reproductive health at the household level negatively influence educational attendance of young children in sub-Saharan Africa? This paper sets out to answer this question by analyzing household and district level data on school attendance of 103,000 primary-school aged children living in 287 districts of 30 sub- Saharan African countries. Our multilevel analyses reveal substantially decreased attendance rates of boys and girls with short preceding and succeeding birth intervals, with more siblings, with a young sibling present and with a pregnant mother. These findings remain intact when controlling for socioeconomic and demographic household characteristics and economic and health-related context factors. Interaction analysis shows that many effects of reproductive health outcomes depend on the context in which the household is living, thus highlighting the importance of a situation-specific approach.

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