Quantum, Tempo, Locus and "Wantum" Components in African Fertility Transitions: Implications for the Demographic Dividend

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Cornell University
Habibou Ouedraogo, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD)
Sarah Giroux, Cornell University

Despite widespread interest in the prospects of fertility decline in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies to date have examined the drivers of fertility change. The abundant literature on fertility determinants has been cross-sectional in orientation, and it has mostly documented the factors associated with fertility levels. This paper offers a historical perspective in which we analyze the sources of change in fertility rates between successive cohorts of African women. Using innovative decomposition methods and DHS data from 24 sub-Saharan countries we assess the contributions of “quantum” versus “tempo” in explaining the recent changes in cohort and period fertility across a wide range of African countries. These decomposition further make it possible to investigate the concentration of fertility change and how these reflect transformations in marital/non marital fertility and unwanted/wanted fertility. These analyses make it possible to adjudicate between competing explanations of African fertility transitions.

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Presented in Session 177: Fertility Intentions and Their Consequences