IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequality in the Utilization of Maternal Care and the Impact of a Macroeconomic Policy: Evidence from Bangladesh


  • Hossain, M. I.


In this paper we focus on the inequalities in utilization of maternal care and the associations between a macroeconomic policy and the use of maternal health care services in Bangladesh. We use four waves of a repeated cross-section dataset: the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2007. We specify the utilization of maternal health care services as a set of three binary variables representing utilization of antenatal care, skilled attendance at birth and giving birth in a health facility. Although the use of maternal care services increased over time, less than one-quarter of mothers used a skilled attendant or gave birth in a health facility in the most recent period. We find that the circumstance factors of respondents, for example, their religion, location, education and household asset had significant associations with their choice of utilization. We observe that horizontal inequity in utilization decreased over time; yet, inequalities in the utilization of maternal care remained large in the most recent period. In addition to these issues, we assess the impacts of the Rights-Based Comprehensive Maternal Care Policy which was implemented in 2001, in response to the Millennium Development Goals in the health sector. We measure the impacts of the policy using the simple difference-in-differences method and inequality indices based difference-in-weighted-differences method. Both approaches find that the policy was effective in promoting utilization of maternal health care services in rural Bangladesh. We find that, in a developing country like Bangladesh, a well-designed health policy that is focused on key circumstance factors of the target group that they cannot control for can increase the use of health care greatly.

Suggested Citation

  • Hossain, M. I., 2010. "Inequality in the Utilization of Maternal Care and the Impact of a Macroeconomic Policy: Evidence from Bangladesh," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:10/08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pulok, Mohammad Habibullah & Sabah, Md Nasim-Us Sabah & Uddin, Jalal & Enemark, Ulrika, 2015. "Progress in utilization of antenatal and delivery care services in Bangladesh: Where does the equity gap lie?," MPRA Paper 63496, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Difference-in-differences; Prenatal care; Horizontal inequity; Difference-in-weighteddifferences;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:10/08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Rawlings). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.