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Family planning and fertility decline in rural Iran: the impact of rural health clinics

  • Djavad Salehi‐Isfahani
  • M. Jalal Abbasi‐Shavazi
  • Meimanat Hosseini‐Chavoshi

During the first few years of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and aided by pro-natal government policies, Iranian fertility was on the rise. In a reversal of its population policy, in 1989, the government launched an ambitious and innovative family planning program aimed at rural families. By 2005, the program had covered more than 90% of the rural population and the average number of births per rural woman had declined to replacement level from about 8 births in the mid 1980s. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of a particular feature of the program – health houses – on rural fertility, taking advantage of the variation in the timing of their construction across the country. We use three different methods to obtain a range of estimates for the impact of health houses on village‐level fertility: difference‐in‐differences (DID), matching DID, and length of exposure. We find estimates of impact ranging from 4 to 20% of the decline in fertility during 1986–1996. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1613
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): S1 (September)
Pages: 159-180

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:s1:p:159-180
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Wagstaff, Adam & Lindelow, Magnus & Gao Jun & Xu Ling & Qian Juncheng, 2007. "Extending health insurance to the rural population : an impact evaluation of China's new cooperative medical scheme," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4150, The World Bank.
  2. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Gustavo Angeles & David Guilkey & Thomas Mroz, 2005. "The determinants of fertility in rural Peru: Program effects in the early years of the national family planning program," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 367-389, 06.
  4. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2004. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," NBER Working Papers 10513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
  6. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  7. Angeles, Gustavo & Guilkey, David K & Mroz, Thomas A, 2005. "The Effects of Education and Family Planning Programs on Fertility in Indonesia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 165-201, October.
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