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Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program's Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh

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  • Shareen Joshi

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • T. Paul Schultz

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

The paper analyzes 141 villages in Matlab, Bangladesh from 1974 to 1996, in which half the villages received from 1977 to 1996 a door-to-door outreach family planning and maternal-child health program. Village and individual data confirm a decline in fertility of about 15 percent in the program villages compared with the control villages by 1982, as others have noted, which persists until 1996. The consequences of the program on a series of long run family welfare outcomes are then estimated in addition to fertility: women’s health, earnings and household assets, use of preventive health inputs, and finally the inter-generational effects on the health and schooling of the woman’s children. Within two decades many of these indicators of the welfare of women and their children improve significantly in conjunction with the program-induced decline in fertility and child mortality. This suggests social returns to this reproductive health program in rural South Asia have many facets beyond fertility reduction, which do not appear to dissipate over two decades.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 951.

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Length: 74 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:951

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Keywords: Fertility; Family Planning; Gender and Development; Program Evaluation; Bangladesh;

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  1. Schultz, T. Paul, 2008. "Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  3. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
  4. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Population programs: Measuring their impact on fertility and the personal distribution of their effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 113-139, April.
  5. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Schultz, T. Paul, 1987. "Fertility and Investments in Human Capital: Estimates of the Consequences of Imperfect Fertility Control in Malaysia," Bulletins 7513, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  7. Nikhil Roy & Andrew D. Foster, 1996. "The Dynamics of Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Family Planning Experiment"," Home Pages _073, University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
  9. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  10. Sinha, Nistha, 2005. "Fertility, Child Work, and Schooling Consequences of Family Planning Programs: Evidence from an Experiment in Rural Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 97-128, October.
  11. Munshi, Kaivan & Myaux, Jacques, 2006. "Social norms and the fertility transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, June.
  12. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1976. "Fertility Response to Child Mortality: Micro Data from Israel," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S163-78, August.
  13. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1983. "Estimating a Household Production Function: Heterogeneity, the Demand for Health Inputs, and Their Effects on Birth Weight," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 723-46, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Christina Peters, 2011. "Effects of family planning and health services on women’s welfare: evidence on dowries and intra-household bargaining in Bangladesh," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 327-348, September.
  2. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Fink, Gunther & Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2007. "Does age structure forecast economic growth?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 569-585.
  3. KUEPIE Mathias & SAIDOU HAMADOU Théophile, 2013. "The impact of fertility on household economic status in Cameroon, Mali and Senegal," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-20, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Anoshua Chaudhuri, 2009. "Spillover Impacts of a Reproductive Health Program on Elderly Women in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 113-125, June.
  5. Dang, Hai-Anh & Rogers, Halsey, 2013. "The decision to invest in child quality over quantity : household size and household investment in education in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6487, The World Bank.

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