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Family planning and fertility : estimating program effects using cross-sectional data

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  • Portner, Claus C
  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Christiaensen, Luc

Abstract

Although reproductive health advocates consider family planning programs the intervention of choice to reduce fertility, there remains a great deal of skepticism among economists as to their effectiveness, despite little rigorous evidence to support either position. This study explores the effects of family planning in Ethiopia using a novel set of instruments to control for potential non-random program placement. The instruments are based on ordinal rankings of area characteristics, motivated by competition between areas for resources. Access to family planning is found to reduce completed fertility by more than one child among women without education. No effect is found among women with some formal schooling, suggesting that family planning and formal education act as substitutes, at least in this low-income, low-growth setting. This provides support to the notion that increasing access to family planning can provide an important, complementary entry point to kick-start the process of fertility reduction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5812.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5812

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Related research

Keywords: Population Policies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Adolescent Health; Reproductive Health; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems;

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References

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  1. Nidhiya Menon & Mark M. Pitt, 2010. "Spatial Decentralization and Program Evaluation: Theory and an Example from Indonesia," Working Papers 16, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  2. Sah, R.K., 1989. "The Effects Of Mortality Changes On Fertility Choice And Individual Welfare: Some Theoretical Predictions," Papers 599, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
  4. Nava Ashraf & Günther Fink & David N. Weil, 2010. "Evaluating the Effects of Large Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative," NBER Working Papers 16069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston, and Rachel Silverman, 2012. "Adolescent Fertility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Effects and Solutions - Working Paper 295," Working Papers 295, Center for Global Development.

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