Women's income and fertility in rural Kenya
Safilios - Rothschild, Constantina
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Data collected in two economically contrasting rural communities in Kenya indicate that education is not an important determinant of contraceptive use although it importantly determines the age at marriage. It is observed that women's status (as measured through women's income) is a critical factor for women's contraceptive behavior through the determination of the cost of children to mothers and the direction of flow of social and economic resources from children to mothers. Thus when women earn a high income that permits a fair degree of autonomy, their aspirations for children (especially for their education) rise and consequently they spend more on children. In absence of labour contribution by children when women's income is high, a new mother-child relationship emerges in which the child becomes a cost and not an economic asset to the mother, thus,' encouraging contraceptive use in order to lower the fertility level.