Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program's Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh

75 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2007  

Shareen Joshi

University of Chicago

T. Paul Schultz

Yale University - Economic Growth Center; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2007

Abstract

The paper analyzes 141 villages in Matlab, Bangladesh from 1974 to 1996, in which half the villages received from 1977 to 1996 a door-to-door outreach family planning and maternal-child health program. Village and individual data confirm a decline in fertility of about 15 percent in the program villages compared with the control villages by 1982, as others have noted, which persists until 1996. The consequences of the program on a series of long run family welfare outcomes are then estimated in addition to fertility: women's health, earnings and household assets, use of preventive health inputs, and finally the inter-generational effects on the health and schooling of the woman's children. Within two decades many of these indicators of the welfare of women and their children improve significantly in conjunction with the program-induced decline in fertility and child mortality. This suggests social returns to this reproductive health program in rural South Asia have many facets beyond fertility reduction, which do not appear to dissipate over two decades.

Keywords: Fertility, Family Planning, Gender and Development, Program Evaluation, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: O12, J13, I12, J16

Suggested Citation

Joshi, Shareen and Schultz, T. Paul, Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program's Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh (February 2007). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 951; IZA Discussion Paper No. 2639; iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962938

Shareen Joshi

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

T. Paul Schultz (Contact Author)

Yale University - Economic Growth Center ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
203-432-3620 (Phone)
203-432-5591 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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