Subjective Expectations and Demand for Contraception

65 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Grant Miller

Grant Miller

Stanford University - School of Medicine; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Aureo de Paula

University College London - Department of Economics; Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics

Christine Valente

University of Bristol

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

Nearly one-quarter of married, fertile-age women in Sub-Saharan Africa say that they want to avoid pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to study this puzzle in a developing country using detailed data on women’s subjective probabilistic beliefs about contraception and contraceptive attributes. Policy counterfactuals based on a structural model suggest that costly interventions such as eliminating supply constraints would only have modest effects on contraceptive use. Alternatively, increasing partners’ approval of methods, aligning partners’ fertility preferences with women’s, and correcting women’s expectations about pregnancy risk absent contraception have the potential to increase use considerably. We provide additional empirical support for this last result through a before/after experiment in which we find that simply (and effectively) informing women about underlying pregnancy risk increases stated intentions to use contraception substantially, in line with our initial estimates.

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Suggested Citation

Miller, Grant and de Paula, Aureo and Valente, Christine, Subjective Expectations and Demand for Contraception (May 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27271, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3615467

Grant Miller (Contact Author)

Stanford University - School of Medicine ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Aureo De Paula

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

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London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
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Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics

Rua Itapeva 474 s.1202
São Paulo, São Paulo 01332-000
Brazil

Christine Valente

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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