A cohort analysis of the timing of first birth and fertility in Ghana

A cohort analysis of the timing of first birth and fertility in Ghana This paper examines the nature of the inverse association between age at first birth and fertility across successive generations of Ghanaian women. Within the context of enhanced non-marital opportunities for contemporary women and declining fertility, we develop a rationale for and test the hypothesis that in a medium fertility environment as currently found in Ghana, the effect of age at first birth on fertility becomes more important than ever before. Five birth cohorts were identified (1938–1944; 1945–1949;1950–1954; 1955–1959; 1960–1964)from a merged file of the 1988, 1993 and 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys. The analyses were restricted to women over 35 years old at the time of the surveys, which allowed us to use current parity as a reasonable proxy for completed fertility. Preliminary results suggest that women who had first births early tend to have a higher number of births than those whose first births occur late, regardless of birth cohort. In multivariate analyses, the effect of age at first birth as a determinant of fertility was found to be more substantial among later cohorts. The implications of the findings are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

A cohort analysis of the timing of first birth and fertility in Ghana

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Geography; Demography; Economic Policy; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1026008912138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of the inverse association between age at first birth and fertility across successive generations of Ghanaian women. Within the context of enhanced non-marital opportunities for contemporary women and declining fertility, we develop a rationale for and test the hypothesis that in a medium fertility environment as currently found in Ghana, the effect of age at first birth on fertility becomes more important than ever before. Five birth cohorts were identified (1938–1944; 1945–1949;1950–1954; 1955–1959; 1960–1964)from a merged file of the 1988, 1993 and 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys. The analyses were restricted to women over 35 years old at the time of the surveys, which allowed us to use current parity as a reasonable proxy for completed fertility. Preliminary results suggest that women who had first births early tend to have a higher number of births than those whose first births occur late, regardless of birth cohort. In multivariate analyses, the effect of age at first birth as a determinant of fertility was found to be more substantial among later cohorts. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 17, 2004

References

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