Early marriage and maternal health care utilisation: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

Chuhui Li, Wenli Cheng, Hui Shi

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We use the recursive bivariate probit (RBVP) model to estimate the effects of early marriage on the utilisation of maternal health services in five sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Chad. Based on recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), we find that a woman who married before age 15 was 17 percentage points less likely to use prenatal services; and marrying before age 16 reduced that likelihood by 9.6 percentage points. We have not found any statistically significant reduction in maternal health care utilisation for women who married at age 17 or older.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101054
Number of pages12
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Early marriage
  • Maternal health care utilisation
  • Recursive bivariate probit model
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

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