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Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia

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  • Grant Miller
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    Abstract

    There has been considerable debate in the last decade about whether or not family planning programs in developing countries reduce fertility or improve socio-economic outcomes. Despite suggestive associations, disagreement persists because the availability and use of modern contraceptives are generally determined by both supply- and demand-side factors. This paper provides new evidence on the role of contraceptive supply by exploiting the surprisingly haphazard expansion of one of the world%u2019s oldest and largest family planning organizations %uF818 PROFAMILIA of Colombia. Its findings suggest that family planning allowed Colombian women to postpone their first birth and have approximately one-half fewer children in their lifetime. Delayed first births, in turn, seem to have enabled young women to obtain more education and to work more and live independently later in life. Although family planning explains only about 10% of Colombia%u2019s fertility decline, it appears to have reduced the otherwise substantial costs of fertility control and may be among the most effective development interventions.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11704.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11704

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    Cited by:
    1. Grönqvist, Hans, 2009. "Putting teenagers on the pill: the consequences of subsidized contraception," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2009:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Baez, Javier E., 2008. "Does More Mean Better? Sibling Sex Composition and the Link between Family Size and Children’s Quality," IZA Discussion Papers 3472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2007. "The Power of the Pill for the Next Generation," NBER Working Papers 13402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Uma Radhakrishnan, 2010. "A Dynamic Structural Model of Contraceptive Use and Employment Sector Choice for Women in Indonesia," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 10-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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