|dc.contributor.advisor||Nieuwoudt, W. L.||
|dc.creator||Fairlamb, Cheryl Denise.||
|dc.description||Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1990.||en
|dc.description.abstract||The World Bank has expressed concern over the high population growth rates in sub-saharan Africa.
South Africa's annual population growth rate in the traditional sector is 2,9 percent. This study
identifies the economic factors affecting family size choice to provide policy makers with a strategy for
A neoclassical utility framework was used to analyse linkages between family size decisions and socio-economic
variables. Household utility for "child services" and "standard of living" was maximised
subject to the resource constraints of time, labour and income. A stratified sampling technique was
used to collect household data from Ulundi and Ubombo in KwaZulu. One hundred and seventy five
women in three occupational strata were interviewed. A static demand function for children was
estimated by multiple regression. The demand function was re-estimated within a simultaneous model
of family decision making which was estimated by two-stage least squares regression analysis. Dummy
dependent variables were estimated by probit analysis. Principal components analysis was used to
confirm the underlying theoretical linkages and discriminant analysis was used to distinguish users
from non-users of modern contraception.
Results show that child education, woman's opportunity cost of time and formal labour market participation
were negatively related to fertility reflecting a substitution from numbers of children (time
intensive goods) to fewer, more educated children (less time intensive) as opportunity costs rise.
Principal components confirmed that this substitution effect dominated the pure income effect as
lifetime family earnings increased even though children are normal goods.
Child labour and children's contribution to income were positively related to fertility. These benefits
accrued mainly to rural people because in urban areas parents depend less on subsistence farming and
essential services (water and electricity supply) are provided.
Discriminant analysis showed that 47,7 percent of the respondents used contraception (including
abstinence and sterility). The most important reasons for use were for child spacing and the desire for
no more children. The latter reason was given by women who had completed fertility and young
women who wanted to avoid untimely pregnancy. The actions of the young women emphasise the
importance of opportunity cost which was further supported by positive relationships between woman's
current income, child education and contraceptive use.
Therefore strategies to reduce population growth rates should include improvements in education and
employment opportunities which would raise time costs for women. Provision of time saving devices
and essential services, and better pension and social security schemes would reduce the benefits from
children thereby reducing family size. For better community acceptance of contraception, the benefits
for child spacing and survival should be promoted.||en
|dc.subject||Fertility, Human--Economic aspects--South Africa.||en
|dc.subject||Family size--South Africa.||en
|dc.title||Economic factors affecting human fertility in the developing areas of South Africa.||en