Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, August 16-18, 2001, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Document Type


Presentation Date



Based on data from a cross-section of urban households in Southwestern Ethiopia, in this paper, we examine some endogenous household characteristics that could be targeted through market-based policy measure(s). We use a count data model and the theory of consumer behavior to first identify some important socio-economic determinants of the demand for children. Then, we simulate the average number of children desired by a woman of median household characteristics and the extent to which an exogenously set population policy goal of lower fertility can be achieved. Finally, we present the extent by which market based policy measures could help reduce the desired number of children. The results of the study show that measures such as formal expansion of paternal and maternal education, altering the economic value of children, increasing household income, and delaying the marriage age are important. We also find institutional approaches that require "faithbased initiatives" relevant. An important policy implication that can be drawn from this result is the need to target such socio-economic variables in designing and implementing population policy measures in Ethiopia and other African nations with similar demographic features.