Fertility Decline and Investment in Children's Human Capital in Urban Burkina Faso: What Causal Relationship?

Moussa Bougma, Université de Montréal
Thomas LeGrand, Université de Montréal

Most studies in Africa have found no correlation or even a positive relationship between the number of children in a family and their educational attainment. These mixed results are usually explained by family solidarity, which reduce pressure on the number of children on family resources, and methodological biases uncontrolled in analyses conducted on African countries. The aim of this study is therefore to assess the impact of family size on children’s schooling in Ouagadougou by using a better measure of household budget constraints and taking into account the simultaneity of fertility and schooling decisions. In sharp contrast to most prior studies on sub-Saharan Africa, we find a net negative effect of sibship size on the level of schooling achieved by children, an effect that grows stronger as one progresses through the educational system.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior