The Effects of Family Planning Workers' Contact on Fertility Preferences: Evidence from Bangladesh

Authors

  • Mary Arends-Kuenning,

    1. Mary Arends-Kuenning is Assistant Professor, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 408 Mumford Hall, MC-710, 1301 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801-3681.
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  • Mian Bazle Hossain,

    1. Mian Bazle Hossain is Statistician/Demographer, Operations Research Project, Health and Population Extension Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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  • Barkat-e-Khuda

    1. Barkat-e-Khuda is Chief of Party, Operations Research Project and Division Director, Health and Population Extension Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR,B), Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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Abstract

Should family planning programs put more effort into persuading couples to want smaller families or into helping women achieve their reproductive goals? Indeed, can family planning programs affect fertility preferences? Longitudinal data from Bangladesh collected from 1982 to 1993 show that women's desired family sizes have declined dramatically. This study examines how the decline in desired family size is related to visits from family planning workers for three intervals: 1982–85, 1985–90, and 1990–93. By use of logistic-regression analysis, the number of rounds during which women received visits from family planning workers is found to have no statistically significant effect on the probability that women altered their preference from wanting more children at the beginning of an interval to wanting no more at the end of the interval.

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