Out-of-wedlock births in Senegal: an empirical investigation of their consequences for women and children
Marazyan, Karine; Guilbert, Nathalie (2013-10), Out-of-wedlock births in Senegal: an empirical investigation of their consequences for women and children. https://basepub.dauphine.fr/handle/123456789/12353
TypeDocument de travail / Working paper
Université Paris Dauphine
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Abstract (EN)Marital conditions, through their impact on women’s human capital accumulation and relative bargaining power in their household, are potentially important determinants of child survival. Surprisingly, the role of mothers’ marital status on children’s outcomes has received little attention. This paper investigates the relationship between births out-of-wedlock and women’s access to resources. We raise two questions in particular: (1) we first investigate the extent to which women with a premarital birth and other women marry at different conditions measured by age at first marriage, and spouse rank within marriage; (2) second, we ask to what extent children born in or out-of-wedlock have different infant mortality rates. Recent nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey data are used to assess the consequences of premarital birth at the mother and child levels. According to our results, premarital births and first marriage conditions are correlated, but the significance and the size of the estimated correlations vary with the gender of the child born out-of-wedlock and with the women’s ethnic group. Our results suggest that having a child out-of-wedlock accelerates first marriage, either for social and/or economic motives. At the child level, we do not observe negative consequences for children born out-of-wedlock except under certain circumstances when their mother had the birth while still an adolescent. We find significant variations of the estimated effects of mortality rates depending on the child’s gender, the mother’s ethnic group and the age at first birth These findings confirm that social stigma is not generalized in Senegal, and that there are ways to manage both the social stigma and the economic burden that taking care of a child born out-of-wedlock raises.
Subjects / KeywordsPremarital fecundity; marriage; children’s mortality; Senegal
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