Skills, Schooling, and Fertility in Ghana: Do Adult Literacy Programs Matter?

Niels-Hugo Blunch, Washington and Lee University

Previous studies of human capital-fertility linkages have mostly been limited to investigating the impact of formal schooling only and, as a consequence, largely have not considered skills and also have ignored alternative routes to acquiring skills, such as adult literacy programs. Examining a recent household survey for Ghana, this paper addresses these issues. The analysis considers several individual level measures of fertility, including binary measures for ever having given birth, as well as the number of children ever born. These measures are further stratified by gender. To allow for the possible endogeneity of maternal skills and schooling an IV-based estimation approach is pursued. In addition to the well-established finding of a negative impact of maternal formal schooling on fertility, I also find a substantial impact from adult literacy course participation and also some impact from literacy and numeracy skills.

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Presented in Poster Session 1