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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Portner, Claus C & Beegle, Kathleen & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Family planning and fertility : estimating program effects using cross-sectional data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5812, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5812
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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2011/09/27/000158349_20110927132145/Rendered/PDF/WPS5812.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nava Ashraf & Günther Fink & David N. Weil, 2014. "Evaluating the Effects of Large-Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 13-57 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sah, Raaj Kumar, 1991. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Fertility Choice and Parental Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 582-606, June.
    3. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
    4. Pitt, Mark M. & Menon, Nidhiya, 2010. "Spatial Decentralization and Program Evaluation: Theory and an Example from Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 5208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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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.
    2. Herrera Catalina & E. Sahn David, 2017. "Working Paper 281 - Early Childbearing, School Attainment and Cognitive Skills," Working Paper Series 2398, African Development Bank.
    3. Herrera, Catalina & Sahn, David & Villa, Kira, 2016. "Early Fertility and Labor Market Segmentation: Evidence from Madagascar," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235749, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Elina Pradhan & David Canning, 2016. "The Effect of Schooling on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from the 1994 Education Reform in Ethiopia," PGDA Working Papers 12816, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    5. David SAHN & Christopher HANDY & Peter GLICK, 2012. "Schooling, Marriage, and Childbearing in Madagascar," Working Papers 201225, CERDI.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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