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Faculty of Economics

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Iyer, S. and Weeks, M.

Social Interactions, Ethnicity, Religion and Fertility in Kenya

Journal of Demographic Economics


Abstract: Reproductive externalities are important for fertility behaviour in Kenya. We identify from anthropology structural forms of social interaction operating across individuals belonging to different ethnic and religious groups on the number of children ever born. We use the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey, combined with primary meteorological data on Kenya, and GMM methods, to show that social interactions effects by ethnicity are important over and above an individual's characteristics such as their religion to explain variations in fertility. Our findings have implications for policy debates in Kenya and in other developing countries about ethnic, religious and other differences in fertility behavior.

Keywords: Social interaction, fertility, generalised method of moments, Kenya

JEL Codes: C51, R11, R15

Author links: Sriya Iyer  Melvyn Weeks  

Publisher's Link:

Cambridge Working Paper in Economics Version of Paper: Social Interactions, Ethnicity and Fertility in Kenya, Iyer, S. and Weeks, M., (2009)

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