Contemporary Context and the Timing of Births: Effects of Education on the Second Birth Interval in Kenya

David Ojakaa, Université de Montréal

That the spacing of births in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa is contingent on women’s often fragile bodily capacity and the uncertain socio-economic environment - and not always on the classical notion of parity specific fertility control and fixed family size - is a conclusion from studies conducted in a number of countries in West Africa. In Kenya, an East African country with similarities and contrasts, the idea remains to be tested. Using the 2003 Kenya DHS, this issue is examined by observing first births that took place within 12 years before the survey until the event (second birth) or censoring occurs. Survival analysis (the Cox regression model) is used to determine the effects of the different levels of education, and of varying socio-economic periods, on the transition to the second conception. Conclusions and policy recommendations relating to women’s productive and reproductive careers are made.

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Presented in Session 123: Education: Causes and Effects