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Modelling the impact of women's education on fertility in Malawi

Zanin, L., Radice, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-6316-3961 & Marra, G. (2015). Modelling the impact of women's education on fertility in Malawi. Journal of Population Economics, 28(1), pp. 89-111. doi: 10.1007/s00148-013-0502-8


Many studies have suggested that there is an inverse relationship between education and number of children among women from sub-Saharan Africa countries, including Malawi. However, a crucial limitation of these analyses is that they do not control for the potential endogeneity of education. The aim of our study is to estimate the role of women’s education on their number of children in Malawi, accounting for the possible presence of endogeneity and for nonlinear effects of continuous observed confounders. Our analysis is based on micro data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey, and uses a flexible instrumental variable regression approach. The results suggest that the relationship of interest is affected by endogeneity and exhibits an inverted U-shape among women living in rural areas of Malawi, whereas it exhibits an inverse (nonlinear) relationship for women living in urban areas.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Population Economics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Education, Endogeneity, Number of children, Instrumental variable, Inverted U-shape, Two-stage generalized additive model
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance
SWORD Depositor:
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