Intentional replacement of dead children in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from Ghana and Kenya

Stephen Obeng Gyimah, Rajulton Fernando


This paper examines whether childhood deaths elicit an explicit, conscious and intentional fertility response using the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey
data for Ghana and Kenya . Using multivariate hazard models, childhood
mortality experience was found to have long term fertility implications beyond the short term physiological effects. In both countries, women who have experienced childhood mortality were found to have significantly higher number of additional children than those without. The death of the first child in particular was found to be associated with the risk of a higher order birth
consistent with recent findings in Cameroon. The policy implications of the
findings are discussed.

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