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Social interactions, ethnicity, religion, and fertility in Kenya
Authors: Sriya Iyer and Melvyn Weeks
Source: Journal of Demographic Economics, Vol. 86, Iss. 3
Topic(s): Ethnicity
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2020
Abstract: Reproductive externalities are important for fertility behavior 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 interaction 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.