The role of disrupting events in shaping fertility preferences: the case of Rwanda

Pierre Claver Rutayisire, National University of Rwanda and Utrecht University
Annelet Broekhuis, Utrecht University
Pieter Hooimeijer, Utrecht University

Various explanations have been put forward for the stall in fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa: high levels of infant and child mortality, lack of educational expansion, economic stagnation, and deterioration of reproductive health services. A limited literature points to the effects of severe disruptive events like natural disasters and civil wars on these social and economic conditions. Using ordinal logistic regression and location-scale model to analyze data from the Demographic Health Surveys from 1992, 2000, 2005 and 2008, we tested the contribution of various mechanisms that could account for the change in the preference for small, medium and large families in Rwanda. The results show an impact of the disrupting event on the fertility preference of women for large families in even after controlling for other risk factors such as individual mortality experience (own children or siblings), place of residence, education and approval of family planning by the partner.

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Presented in Session 80: Fertility transition in Africa: case studies