Tradition and Change: The Transition to Adulthood among Ethiopian Women

David P. Lindstrom, Brown University
Gebre-Egziabher Kiros, Florida A&M University
Dennis Hogan, Brown University

Demographic decompositions of recent fertility decline in urban Ethiopia indicate that a major component of the decline is delayed marriage among recent cohorts of women. Studies conducted in other African countries suggest that as age at marriage increases, premarital sex becomes increasingly common. However, in Ethiopia the rise in age at marriage has not been accompanied by a rise in premarital fertility. This paper examines the social determinants of age at first intercourse, first marriage, and first birth among several cohorts of Ethiopian women to test alternative theories of change in the timing of early life course transitions. The study is based on data from the 2000 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. Results of discrete-time hazards models indicate that education plays a major role in delaying the start of sexual activity, entry into marriage, and the start of childbearing in Ethiopia.

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Presented in Session 121: Adolescent Fertility in Developing Countries