Does Family Planning Program Reduce Inequality in Fertility, Contraceptive Use, and Other Health Care Utilization? Evidence from Bangladesh

Saifuddin Ahmed, Johns Hopkins University

Since the introduction of organized family planning program almost 50 years ago, a large number of studies have examined the contribution of family planning program in reducing fertility in economically disadvantaged countries. In addition, several studies have examined the concomitant benefits of family planning programs on infant and maternal mortality reduction. However, none of the study has examined whether organized family planning program can reduce inequality in contraceptive use and fertility level. Using nationally representative data from Bangladesh Health and Demographic Survey, 1999-2000, we examine the effect family planning workers on the reduction of inequality in contraceptive use and maternal and child health care (MCH) utilization. Our results suggest that family planning workers significantly reduced inequality in modern temporary contraceptive use (concentration index of 0.105 (95% CI: 0.056-0.124) reduced to 0.005 (95% CI: -0.012 - 0.24). However, the effect of field workers on the reduction of inequality in MCH care utilization is limited.

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Presented in Session 41: Fertility and Social Inequality in Developing Countries