Credit Programs for the Poor and Reproductive Behavior in Low-Income Countries are the Reported Causal Relationships the Result of Heterogeneity Bias?

Demography, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1999

Posted: 24 Jan 2013 Last revised: 31 Jan 2013

See all articles by Signe-Mary McKernan

Signe-Mary McKernan

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Shahidur R. Khandker

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Mark M. Pitt

Brown University

Date Written: February 1, 1999

Abstract

Group-based lending programs for the poor have drawn much attention recently. As many of these programs target women, an important research question is whether program participation significantly changes reproductive behavior and whether the gender of the participant matters. Using survey data from 87 Bangladeshi villages, this paper estimates the impact of female and male participation in group-based credit programs on reproductive behavior while paying close attention to issues of self-selection and endogeneity. We find no evidence that female participation in group-based credit programs increases contraceptive use or reduces fertility. Male participation reduces fertility and may slightly increase contraceptive use.

Keywords: Families and Parenting, International Issues

Suggested Citation

McKernan, Signe-Mary and Khandker, Shahidur R. and Pitt, Mark M., Credit Programs for the Poor and Reproductive Behavior in Low-Income Countries are the Reported Causal Relationships the Result of Heterogeneity Bias? (February 1, 1999). Demography, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205964

Signe-Mary McKernan (Contact Author)

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population ( email )

United States

Shahidur R. Khandker

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

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

Mark M. Pitt

Brown University ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-2970 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

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