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Open AccessArticle

Explaining Fertility Variation in Rural Communities: The Role of Electricity in Ghana

1
Audit Services, Wells Fargo, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA
2
College of Business, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733, USA
3
Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Economies 2018, 6(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies6030040
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
We believe the massive rural electrification, which began in 1992, played a significant role in the varying fertility rates across rural Ghana. Rural households with electricity, tend to have fewer children ever born to a woman than households without electricity. Using control function regressions, we identify the contribution of electrification to the rural-rural variation in fertility by exploiting the exogenous variations in the access rate to electricity at the district-level. Our results indicate that electrification contributes to a fall in fertility among rural women by between one and three children. These results are qualitatively similar to results from our two-stage least squares estimations and counterfactual analysis. Although our results may not reflect what happens in other countries, they suggest that electrification reduces fertility and should be considered when examining the costs and benefits of rural electrification programs in developing countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural electronification; fertility; control function; JEL Classification; J11; J13; R23 rural electronification; fertility; control function; JEL Classification; J11; J13; R23
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Akpandjar, G.; Puozaa, C.; Quartey, P. Explaining Fertility Variation in Rural Communities: The Role of Electricity in Ghana. Economies 2018, 6, 40.

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