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The Effect of Family Planning Programs on the Fertility of Welfare Recipients: Evidence from Medicaid Claims

  • Jennifer M. Mellor

Previous studies of U.S. publicly funded family planning services have produced conflicting and sometimes confounding results. These studies have relied exclusively on single-equation estimates of family planning program effectiveness. Economic theories suggest that single-equation estimates may understate program effectiveness when the same unobserved variable affects both the fertility outcome and contraceptive behavior. To eliminate the bias that may result from single-equation estimation, I use a bivariate probit model to estimate the effect of contraceptive acceptance on the individual's probability of giving birth. I employ a unique data set created from Maryland Medicaid claims records. Results from bivariate probit estimation show that contraceptive acceptance plays a much larger role in reducing fertility than single-equation estimates would suggest.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 33 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 866-895

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:33:y:1998:i:4:p:866-895
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. 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.
  2. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  4. Elizabeth Stephen & Ronald Rindfuss & Frank Bean, 1988. "Racial differences in contraceptive choice: Complexity and implications," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 53-70, February.
  5. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist, 1991. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Average Treatment Effects in Econometrics and Epidemiology," NBER Technical Working Papers 0115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
  8. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Assessing Family Palnning Cost-Effectiveness: Applicability Of Individual Demand-Program Supply Framework," Papers 615, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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