Direct and indirect paths leading to contraceptive use in urban Africa

Catherine Gourbin, Université Catholique de Louvain
Guillaume Wunsch, Université Catholique de Louvain
Lorise Moreau, Observatoire de l'Enfance, de la Jeunesse et de l'Aide à la Jeunesse
Agnes Guillaume, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
Nathalie Bajos, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This study examines contraceptive use in the capital cities of four African countries, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Morocco, and Senegal. In particular, the article has two objectives: (i) to consider the hierarchical ordering of causal relationships among the individual factors involved in the use of contraception in the four urban populations considered, by way of a secondary analysis of DHS data, and more particularly (ii) to test two main indirect pathways (a union-reproductive path and a socio-cultural one) leading from woman’s education to contraceptive use that have been proposed in the literature, as education is a major factor of fertility transition. The methodology is based on recursive structural models represented by directed acyclic graphs. The empirical analysis highlighted a structural union-reproductive path linking female education and contraceptive use, showing that the effect of the former on the latter can be the reverse of what was expected. On the contrary, the analysis has lead us to reject the socio-cultural path, as this latter model is falsified by the data.

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Presented in Session 82: Contraceptive use in low and middle income countries