My Choice: Female Contraceptive Use Autonomy in Bangladesh

55 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018 Last revised: 18 Aug 2018

See all articles by Niels-Hugo Blunch

Niels-Hugo Blunch

Washington and Lee University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Previous research has examined the incidence and correlates of contraceptive use and of several dimensions of female autonomy but only rarely the intersection of the two: female contraceptive use autonomy (CUA). Using a nationally representative household survey for two cohorts of married women, I examine female CUA incidence and correlates in Bangladesh focusing on the role of education. Female CUA is found to differ substantially across cohorts, with women from the younger cohort being far more likely to have complete autonomy over contraceptive use than women from the older cohort.Detailed decompositions reveal that the improvement in education across cohorts is the main correlate of the improved generational CUA gap. Health knowledge, especially knowledge that the use of condoms can help avoid contracting HIV/AIDS, is found to be part of the transmission mechanism between female education and female CUA but also to additionally exert its own, additional influence on CUA. I also discuss the implications of the analysis conducted here for the specification of spousal education variables and geographic fixed effects for future related research.

Keywords: contraceptive use, female autonomy, spousal education differentials, gender norms, decomposition analysis, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: D13, I12, I21

Suggested Citation

Blunch, Niels-Hugo, My Choice: Female Contraceptive Use Autonomy in Bangladesh. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11654, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3217470

Niels-Hugo Blunch (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University ( email )

Department of Economics
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wlu.edu/williams-school/economics/faculty-and-staff/profile?ID=x258

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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