Last updated September 2009
; Godfrey K. Ndeng’e
; Domisiano K. Mwabu
This paper investigates the consequences of fertility for child health in Kenya using Demographic and Health Survey data. To take into account serious identification issues in the relationship between fertility and child health, instrumental variable estimation methods are used. Occurrence of first multiple births are used as instruments for fertility in determination of mortality of a non multiple birth child. The control function approach is further used to take into account endogeneity of fertility and heterogeneity arising from unobservable determinants of child health. The results show that endogenous fertility has a positive significant impact on child mortality. The occurrence of first multiple births is a positive significant instrument for fertility across sub-samples. Controlling for endogeneity, non-linearities and heterogeneity however reduces the size of the coefficient of fertility and negates its significance. The insignificance of the control function approach variables suggest that there may be no serious heterogeneity arising from interaction of fertility with unobserved determinants of child mortality. We conclude that failure to control for endogeneity and heterogeneity in analysis would lead to misleading policy conclusions by overstating the impact of fertility on child health.
Jane Kabubo-Mariara, email@example.com
; Godfrey K. Ndeng’e, firstname.lastname@example.org
; Domisiano K. Mwabu, email@example.com
, University of Nairobi