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
Date Written: February 5, 2014
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
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