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Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program's Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh

Author

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  • Shareen Joshi

    () (University of Chicago)

  • T. Paul Schultz

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

The paper analyzes 141 villages in Matlab, Bangladesh from 1974 to 1996, in which half the villages received from 1977 to 1996 a door-to-door outreach family planning and maternal-child health program. Village and individual data confirm a decline in fertility of about 15 percent in the program villages compared with the control villages by 1982, as others have noted, which persists until 1996. The consequences of the program on a series of long run family welfare outcomes are then estimated in addition to fertility: women’s health, earnings and household assets, use of preventive health inputs, and finally the inter-generational effects on the health and schooling of the woman’s children. Within two decades many of these indicators of the welfare of women and their children improve significantly in conjunction with the program-induced decline in fertility and child mortality. This suggests social returns to this reproductive health program in rural South Asia have many facets beyond fertility reduction, which do not appear to dissipate over two decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Shareen Joshi & T. Paul Schultz, 2007. "Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program's Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh," Working Papers 951, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. KUEPIE Mathias & SAIDOU HAMADOU Théophile, 2013. "The impact of fertility on household economic status in Cameroon, Mali and Senegal," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-20, LISER.
    2. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Fink, Gunther & Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2007. "Does age structure forecast economic growth?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 569-585.
    3. Peter Glick & Christopher Handy & David E. Sahn, 2015. "Schooling, marriage, and age at first birth in Madagascar," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(2), pages 219-236, July.
    4. Andrew Foster & Sveta Milusheva, 2015. "Household Recombination, Retrospective Evaluation, and the Effects of a Health and Family Planning Intervention," Working Papers id:7183, eSocialSciences.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "Unleashing the Potential of Ethiopian Women : Trends and Options for Economic Empowerment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 18862, The World Bank.
    6. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Marco Alfano, 2017. "Islamic Law and Investments in Children: Evidence from the Sharia Introduction in Nigeria," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    8. Anoshua Chaudhuri, 2009. "Spillover Impacts of a Reproductive Health Program on Elderly Women in Rural Bangladesh," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 113-125, June.
    9. Christina Peters, 2011. "Effects of family planning and health services on women’s welfare: evidence on dowries and intra-household bargaining in Bangladesh," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 327-348, September.
    10. Hai-Anh H. Dang & F. Halsey Rogers, 2016. "The Decision to Invest in Child Quality over Quantity: Household Size and Household Investment in Education in Vietnam," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(1), pages 104-142.
    11. Djavad Salehi‐Isfahani & M. Jalal Abbasi‐Shavazi & Meimanat Hosseini‐Chavoshi, 2010. "Family planning and fertility decline in rural Iran: the impact of rural health clinics," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 159-180, September.
    12. Zaki Wahhaj, 2015. "A Theory of Child Marriage," Studies in Economics 1520, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    13. Jungho Kim, 2016. "Female education and its impact on fertility," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 228-228, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Family Planning; Gender 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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