Fewer and Healthier?: Fertility Transitions and Children’s Health Dividends

Sarah Giroux, Cornell University

As fertility decline has commenced globally, interest has emerged over the demographic dividends associated with the decline. While the bulk of previous work has estimated the macroeconomic dividend in terms of savings, economic growth, and poverty reduction, some of this dividend is expected in terms of human capital development. This study seeks to estimate the macro level human capital dividends, specifically those associated with child health, from fertility transitions. Additionally, this study fills a geographic gap in the literature, by locating this research in sub-Saharan Africa, a region in the early stages of its transitions and where the potential dividends from transitions are of key policy interest. Use of multiple waves of DHS data from six Sub-Saharan countries makes it possible to consider how health dividends vary over time and within households (by gender), between households (by family structure), and by country context.

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Presented in Poster Session 7