Working Paper
On the fertility transition in Africa

Income, child mortality, or education?

A consensus among social scientists is that fertility rates in Africa are declining. What determines these declines? I present fresh evidence that shows education, especially for women, is an important determinant of the fertility transition in Africa. This finding is consistent with the predictions of the unified growth theory and sheds important insights in explaining the sustained income growth Africa has experienced since 1995. The paper also shows that the effects of income per capita and child mortality on fertility rates are non-robust and inconsistent with the predictions of the unified growth theory.