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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 22, No. 1, 2004, pp. 84-96
Bioline Code: hn04011
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2004, pp. 84-96

 en Effect of Socioeconomic Characteristics on Age at Marriage and Total Fertility in Nepal
Maitra, Pushkar


In societies where childbearing prior to marriage is not socially acceptable, postponement of marriage contributes significantly to a reduction in fertility level by shortening the total reproductive life of women. This, in turn, reduces the number of children a woman is likely to have and has a negative impact on the population growth rate of a country. This paper examined the effect of socioeconomic characteristics on age at marriage and on total fertility rates in Nepal using a household-level dataset. The estimated results showed that an increase in age at marriage significantly reduced total fertility of women. An increase in the number of children who died had a statistically significant effect on total fertility (child replacement effect). The estimation results also emphasized the role of female education in reducing total fertility and increasing age at marriage. Moreover, female educational effect had a strong inter-generational effect on age at marriage, and this effect was stronger than the effect of male educational attainment. One implication of these results is that from the policy point of view, all other things being equal, governments should accord a significant priority to female education and, in particular, a higher priority compared to male schooling.

Fertility; Socioeconomic factors; Marriage; Age factors; Nepal

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