Följdeffekten av familjeplanering på barnets hälsa i Matlab, Bangladesh. Finns det en quantity-quality trade-off?
Sammanfattning: This paper investigates whether the family planning and maternal child health program (MCH-FP) in Matlab, Bangladesh, which was operating between 1977 and 1990, had positive impacts on children’s health. The data was collected by the ICDDR,B, which is an institution that has had a surveillance system over the Matlab area for decades. The MCH-FP programme had the unique form of a RCT, which is ideal for impact evaluation. Using regression analysis, the program has proved to have led to a significant reduction in fertility. There is a general belief in the so-called quantity-quality trade-off, which implies that families will invest more in each child’s wellbeing if they were able to reduce the number of births. This theory goes hand in hand with the fact that desired fertility often is lower than actual fertility in developing countries. If this is the case in Bangladesh, we would expect to see a better health status of the children whose mother was treated in the MCH-FP program. However, the result is insignificant, and no such relationship can be found. It might be due to the ambiguous characteristics of the control variables or because the parents have prioritized other types of investments in human capital, e.g. education. Another reason could be the misinterpretation of the health status of the child, since a major part of the children in Bangladesh are undernourished.
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