NOVAFRICA Seminar: “Women’s economic empowerment and fertility: Long-term evidence from Tanzania”

On Tuesday, June 25, at 04.30 pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Kjetil Bjorvatn, from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), to present his work on women’s economic empowerment and fertility.

Kjetil Bjorvatn, NHH.


Many young girls in developing countries experience early pregnancy and lifelong dependence upon family and partners, which may prevent them from reaching their full productive and social potential. Here we report from an empowerment program targeting adolescent girls in rural Tanzania involving both a reproductive health module and a module on entrepreneurship. We evaluate the impact of the modules separately and in combination,
allowing us to investigate the relative effectiveness of the two approaches, and whether there is a complementarity between them. Moreover, we conduct both a short-term and a long-term follow-up study of the intervention, enabling us to shed light on the sustainability of such interventions. Our main findings are that the entrepreneurship training raised incomes and, perhaps surprisingly, that both programs increased fertility. Our findings thus demonstrate how an entrepreneurship program can lead to higher incomes for young women, but also that higher incomes in a low-income context do not necessarily lead to lower fertility.

Find more about this seminar here.