Volume 22 - Article 30 | Pages 965–984

Examining the predictive value of fertility preferences among Ghanaian women

By Ivy Kodzi, David Johnson, John Casterline

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Date received:02 Feb 2010
Date published:26 May 2010
Word count:4996
Keywords:fertility, fertility intentions, fertility preference, Ghana, sub-Saharan Africa


Despite extensive research, doubts remain regarding the degree of correspondence between prior stated fertility preferences and subsequent fertility behavior. Preference instability is a factor that potentially undermines predictiveness. Furthermore, if other predictors of fertility substantially explain fertility, then knowledge of preferences may contribute little to explaining or predicting individual fertility behavior. In this study, we examined these aspects of the study of individual fertility preference-behavior consistency. Using a prospective multi-wave panel dataset, we modeled the monthly likelihood of conception, taking into account the dynamic nature of preferences, and controlling for changing reproductive life cycle factors and stable socioeconomic background predictors of fertility. We demonstrate from a sample of fecund married Ghanaian women that fertility preferences retain independent predictive power in the model predicting the likelihood of conception.

Author's Affiliation

Ivy Kodzi - Ohio State University, United States of America [Email]
David Johnson - Pennsylvania State University, United States of America [Email]
John Casterline - Ohio State University, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Extramarital fertility in low- and middle-income countries
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» Unrealized fertility: Fertility desires at the end of the reproductive career
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» Migration and marriage: Modeling the joint process
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» What has high fertility got to do with the low birth weight problem in Africa?
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» Children's stunting in sub-Saharan Africa: Is there an externality effect of high fertility?
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