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Poverty and Fertility in Less Developed Countries: A Comparative Analysis

Arnstein Aassve, Henriette Engelhardt, Francesca Francavilla (), Abbi Kedir (), Jungho Kim, Fabrizia Mealli (), Letizia Mencarini (), Stephen Pudney and Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

No 05/28, Discussion Papers in Economics from Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester

Abstract: Poverty and fertility are two important and closely related aspects of welfare. In this paper we use unique longitudinal data sources to study the relationship between poverty and fertility at household level in Albania, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam. These countries differ greatly in their history, average income, social structure, economic institutions and demographic features. We find that there is a substantial difference in the relative importance of the determinants of poverty dynamics and fertility; the persistence of high levels of fertility and poverty in Ethiopia is driven by lack of economic growth and poor access to family planning; education and health provision are crucial elements in reducing poverty and fertility, as is clear from Vietnam, Indonesia and Albania.

Date: 2005-11
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