How Women’s Rights Affect Fertility: Evidence from Nigeria

Raphael Godefroy (Universite de Montreal)

Abstract: This paper estimates the impact on fertility of a 1999 reform that reduced litigants' rights for Muslim women in certain states of Nigeria. Using data from Demographic and Health Surveys, I find that, where enforced, the Reform increased the yearly probability of giving birth by 0.026. This effect stems from both a shift of fertility decisions within marriage towards husbands' preferences and an increase in the probability of being married. The change in marital status alone may explain 60% of the total increase in fertility. I also find that the enforced Reform increased women's labour supply.

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