Children's Use of Preventive Health Care: Can Community Programs Make a Difference?

Elizabeth Frankenberg, University of California, Los Angeles
Jenna Nobles, University of California, Los Angeles

In 1998, after thirty years of strong economic growth, Indonesia's GDP declined by 15%--a large and unexpected downturn. In response, the government funded social safety net programs that communities were charged with implementing. We use data from the 1997, 1998, and 2000 rounds of the Indonesia Family Life Survey, a longitudinal survey of individuals, households, communities, and facilities, to examine how investments in children responded to the economic crisis, and whether children were protected by community efforts to establish a social safety net. We focus on use of care for children under five, an age at which a number of preventive health care activities can affect child well-being. Preliminary results suggest that community efforts to strengthen neighborhood health posts and provide subsidized care at government clinics protected children's use of care. These results are robust to fixed effects specifications that control for unobserved community-level characteristics.

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Presented in Session 55: Child Health and Education in Developing Countries