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Fertility and Social InteractionAn Economic Perspective$
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Hans-Peter Kohler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199244596.001.0001

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The Density of Social Networks and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from South Nyanza District, Kenya

The Density of Social Networks and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from South Nyanza District, Kenya

Chapter:
(p.61) 3 The Density of Social Networks and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from South Nyanza District, Kenya
Source:
Fertility and Social Interaction
Author(s):

Hans‐Peter Kohler (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199244596.003.0003

Utilizes new data gathered in South Nyanza District, Kenya, that includes egocentric social networks and measures of contraceptive prevalence among friends and investigates whether social learning or social influence constitutes the dominant mechanism through which social networks affect an individual's contraceptive decisions. This chapter argues that these mechanisms can be distinguished by analysing the density of the social network and its interaction with the proportion of contraceptive users among network partners. Our analyses indicate that in areas with high market activity, social learning is most relevant, whereas in regions with only modest market activity, social influence constitutes the dominant mechanism of how social networks affect women's contraceptive use. The chapter concludes with the development of a theoretical model of social interactions and fertility.

Keywords:   contraception, diffusion, Kenya, market, social influence, social learning, social networks

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