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Primary Education and Fertility Rates in Southern Africa: Evidence from Before the Demographic Transition

Manoel Bittencourt

No 201404, Working Papers from University of Pretoria, Department of Economics

Abstract: We investigate whether primary school completion has played any role on total fertility rates in all fifteen members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) between 1980 and 2009. The evidence, based on panel time-series analysis, suggests that primary education has indeed reduced fertility rates in the region, or that the community is already trading-off quantity for quality of children. The results are important not only because lower fertility, caused by education, implies more capital per worker, higher productivity and therefore higher growth rates, but also because - in accordance to the unified growth theory - they suggest that southern Africa, like other countries in the past, is experiencing its own transition from the Malthusian epoch into a sustained growth regime.

Keywords: Education; fertility; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J13 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2014-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-gro
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