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Explaining Fertility Variation in Rural Communities: The Role of Electricity in Ghana

George Akpandjar (), Conrad Puozaa () and Peter Quartey ()
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George Akpandjar: Audit Services, Wells Fargo, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA
Conrad Puozaa: College of Business, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733, USA

Economies, 2018, vol. 6, issue 3, 1-13

Abstract: We believe the massive rural electrification, which began in 1992, played a significant role in the varying fertility rates across rural Ghana. Rural households with electricity, tend to have fewer children ever born to a woman than households without electricity. Using control function regressions, we identify the contribution of electrification to the rural-rural variation in fertility by exploiting the exogenous variations in the access rate to electricity at the district-level. Our results indicate that electrification contributes to a fall in fertility among rural women by between one and three children. These results are qualitatively similar to results from our two-stage least squares estimations and counterfactual analysis. Although our results may not reflect what happens in other countries, they suggest that electrification reduces fertility and should be considered when examining the costs and benefits of rural electrification programs in developing countries.

Keywords: rural electronification; fertility; control function; J11; J13; R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E F I J O Q (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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