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Family Planning and Women’s and Children’s Health: Long-Term Consequences of an Outreach Program in Matlab, Bangladesh

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  • Shareen Joshi

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  • T. Schultz

    ()

Abstract

We analyze the impact of an experimental maternal and child health and family planning program that was established in Matlab, Bangladesh, in 1977. Village data from 1974, 1982, and 1996 suggest that program villages experienced a decline in fertility of about 17 %. Household data from 1996 confirm that this decline in “surviving fertility” persisted for nearly two decades. Women in program villages also experienced other benefits: increased birth spacing, lower child mortality, improved health status, and greater use of preventive health inputs. Some benefits also diffused beyond the boundaries of the program villages into neighboring comparison villages. These effects are robust to the inclusion of individual, household, and community characteristics. We conclude that the benefits of this reproductive and child health program in rural Bangladesh have many dimensions extending well beyond fertility reduction, which do not appear to dissipate rapidly after two decades. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Shareen Joshi & T. Schultz, 2013. "Family Planning and Women’s and Children’s Health: Long-Term Consequences of an Outreach Program in Matlab, Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 149-180, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:1:p:149-180
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0172-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schultz, T Paul, 1994. "Human Capital, Family Planning, and Their Effects on Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 255-260, May.
    2. Munshi, Kaivan & Myaux, Jacques, 2006. "Social norms and the fertility transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, June.
    3. T. Paul Schultz, 1980. "An Economic Interpretation of the Decline in Fertiliiy in a Rapidly Developing Country: Consequences of Development and Family Planning," NBER Chapters,in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 209-288 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Schultz, T. Paul, 2008. "Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Elizabeth Frankenberg & Duncan Thomas, 2001. "Women’s health and pregnancy outcomes: Do services make a difference?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(2), pages 253-265, May.
    6. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
    7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    8. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1982. "Governmental interventions and household behavior in a developing country : Anticipating the unanticipated consequences of social programs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 209-225, April.
    9. Deborah DeGraff, 1991. "Increasing contraceptive use in Bangladesh: The role of demand and supply factors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(1), pages 65-81, February.
    10. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 2008. "Health over the Life Course," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
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    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:311-322 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ito, Takahiro & Tanaka, Shinsuke, 2018. "Abolishing user fees, fertility choice, and educational attainment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 33-44.
    4. Fujii, Tomoki & Shonchoy, Abu S. & Xu, Sijia, 2018. "Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 315-330.
    5. Ahmed, S. Amer & Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose & Quillin,Bryce Ramsey & Schellekens,Philip, 2016. "Demographic change and development : a global typology," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7893, The World Bank.
    6. Gutierrezy, Federico H., 2018. "The Inter-generational Fertility Effect of an Abortion Ban: Understanding the Role of Inherited Wealth and Preferences," GLO Discussion Paper Series 167, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:106-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Isabel Günther & Kenneth Harttgen, 2016. "Desired Fertility and Number of Children Born Across Time and Space," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(1), pages 55-83, February.
    9. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0638-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Libois, François & Somville, Vincent, 2018. "Fertility, household size and poverty in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 311-322.
    12. Headey, Derek & Hoddinott, John & Ali, Disha & Tesfaye, Roman & Dereje, Mekdim, 2015. "The Other Asian Enigma: Explaining the Rapid Reduction of Undernutrition in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 749-761.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Family planning; Health and development; Program evaluation; Bangladesh;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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