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Discussion Paper no. 03-04

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of women’s educational attainment on the timing of parenthood in Ghana. Given the more enhanced career opportunities in recent years, it is argued that the opportunity cost of parenthood may be higher for contemporary educated women, and as such, they are expected to delay parenthood for longer periods than their counterparts in the past. Using data from the 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, we found that while higher educational attainment was associated with delayed parenthood, significant cohort differences were noticeable. Consistent with our expectations, the effect of higher educational attainment was substantially greater among younger women, indicating a longer transition to parenthood. Besides educational attainment, religion, ethnicity, age at marriage birth, and place of residence were also found to associate with the timing of parenthood.


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