The spread of primary schooling in sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for fertility change (PDF)
Lloyd,Cynthia B.; Kaufman,Carol E.; Hewett,Paul C.
Population and Development Review 26(3): 483-515
Publication date: 2000
In 1980 Caldwell hypothesized that the time of the onset of the fertility transition in developing countries would be linked with the achievement of "mass formal schooling." This article applies Demographic and Health Survey data to assess schooling patterns and trends for 23 sub-Saharan African countries, using the percentage of 15-19-year olds who have completed at least four years of schooling as an indicator of progress in education. As background to that assessment, the article includes a review of the sparse literature on the links between children's schooling and fertility decline. The analysis strongly supports Caldwell's hypothesis with empirical evidence of the much stronger negative relationship between fertility decline and grade 4 attainment in those countries that have attained mass-schooling levels than in those that have not yet achieved such levels.