Social protection, household size and its determinants: Evidence from Ethiopia

ESSP Working Paper 107, by John F. Hoddinott, Tseday J. Mekasha.

Abstract: We examine the impact of a social protection program, Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), on household size and the factors that cause household size to change: fertility, child fosterage, and in and out migration related to work and marriage. Participation in the PSNP leads to an increase in household size of 0.3 members. PSNP participation lowers fertility by 7.6 to 9.9 percentage points. The increase in household size arises from an increase in the number of girls aged 12 to 18 years. We present suggestive evidence that this occurs because the PSNP causes households to delay marrying out adolescent females. Download the PDF.