Desired Family Size, Family Planning and Fertility in Ethiopia
University of Maryland School of Public Policy
March 1, 2006
Journal of Biosocial Science, Vol. 39, pp. 361-381, 2007
This paper models the proximate determinants of children born to over 13,000 Ethiopian women and of the women’s stated preferences for additional births using the data from the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey 2000. Empirical models for the number of children born to women were estimated using Poisson and ordinal regressions. The results show the importance of variables such as maternal education for smaller family size, and that variables reflecting desired family size are strong predictors of the numbers of children born to women. Secondly, binary logistic models for dichotomous variables for women not wanting more children and if letting pregnant would be a ‘big problem’ showed non-linear effects of the surviving and ‘ideal’ number of children. Moreover, the results indicated a desire on the part of women to limit family size, especially as the number of surviving children increased. Probit models were estimated to address potential endogeneity of certain variables. Overall, the results indicated that counselling couples about small family size and increasing the utilization of health care services can lower fertility in Ethiopia.
Keywords: fertility, family planning, ideal number of children, maximum likelihood estimation, endogeneity
JEL Classification: C21, J13, I1, O1
Date posted: October 14, 2009