Family Planning and Fertility: Estimating Program Effects Using Cross-Sectional Data

33 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Claus C. Pörtner

Claus C. Pörtner

Seattle University - Albers School of Business and Economics; Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Kathleen Beegle

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Luc Christiaensen

World Bank

Date Written: September 1, 2011

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-startthe process of fertility reduction.

Keywords: Population Policies, Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health, Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems

Suggested Citation

Pörtner, Claus C. and Beegle, Kathleen and Christiaensen, Luc, Family Planning and Fertility: Estimating Program Effects Using Cross-Sectional Data (September 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5812. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1934673

Claus C. Pörtner (Contact Author)

Seattle University - Albers School of Business and Economics ( email )

901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
United States
206-296-2539 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.clausportner.com

Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology ( email )

206 Raitt Hall
Box 353412
Seattle, WA 98195-3412
United States

Kathleen Beegle

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kbeegle

Luc Christiaensen

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
87
Abstract Views
596
rank
286,132
PlumX Metrics