A Comparison of Approaches for Estimating the Effect of Women's Education on the Probability of Using Modern Contraceptive Methods in Malawi

The Social Science Journal, Vol. 51(3), pp. 361-367

Posted: 6 Feb 2014 Last revised: 26 Apr 2016

See all articles by Luca Zanin

Luca Zanin

Prometeia

Rosalba Radice

University of Bath

Giampiero Marra

University College London

Date Written: February 5, 2014

Abstract

The aim of this study is to estimate the effect of education on the probability of married Malawian women using modern contraceptive methods by accounting for both observed and unobserved confounders. We conduct a sensitivity analysis and compare the results of naive models with instrumental variable models to account for the potential endogeneity of education. Our findings demonstrate conflicting results between the two modelling approaches. The naive models report smaller education effects on the probability of using modern contraceptive methods compared to instrumental variable models. We also find that by relaxing the functional form assumption on the effect of continuous covariates, using a flexible instrumental variable model, the education's effect follows a positive, nonlinear pattern. This finding is not observed with a classic instrumental variable model.

Keywords: Education; Endogeneity; Generalised additive models; Modern contraceptive methods

JEL Classification: C14; C26; J13

Suggested Citation

Zanin, Luca and Radice, Rosalba and Marra, Giampiero, A Comparison of Approaches for Estimating the Effect of Women's Education on the Probability of Using Modern Contraceptive Methods in Malawi (February 5, 2014). The Social Science Journal, Vol. 51(3), pp. 361-367, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391107

Rosalba Radice

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

Giampiero Marra

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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