Publisher/Institution: Nijmegen Center for Economics
Abstract: This paper aims to gain understanding on how the availability and use of family planning services in African countries influences the family planning situation of households and through this the educational participation of young children. A district panel dataset is used for 441 urban and rural areas within 233 districts of 25 African countries. A path model is developed and estimated that shows that a decrease in the number of births within households is associated with an increase in educational participation. The average number of births in a district’s households is found to be negatively associated with the acceptance, knowledge and actual use of contraceptives in the district. Because reversed causality seems unlikely and selectivity bias cannot explain the association between contraceptive use, reduction of births and increasing educational participation, the identified relationships are supposed to be at least partially causal. Hence, investments in family planning services in poor areas are not only important because they allow omen to plan their births better, but also because they may lead to higher primary enrolment rates in the region and thus may contribute to the region’s future economic growth.