Women’s use of family planning services: An experiment on the husband’s involvement

D'Exelle, Ben and Ringdal, Charlotte (2022) Women’s use of family planning services: An experiment on the husband’s involvement. Journal of Development Economics, 158. ISSN 0304-3878

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Abstract

Despite the increased availability of family planning services (FPS) in low-income countries, their use remains low, especially in rural sub-Saharan Africa. To investigate to what extent this is explained by the husband’s involvement in the decision process, we use an experiment in rural Tanzania in which couples choose between two payments, one being conditional on attending a family planning meeting at a health center. Experimentally varying the husband’s involvement, we find that FPS are more likely chosen in treatments that involve the husband. Exploring potential mechanisms, we show that this is driven by couples where the wife (incorrectly) believes that the husband disapproves of contraceptives. We also find that involving the husband increases the wife’s expectation that the family planning meeting will be attended. Both findings suggest that initiating communication between spouses could reduce demand constraints.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Author acknowledgements: We would like to thank the editor Andrew Foster, two anonymous reviewers, Ingvild Alm˚as, Britta Augsburg, Alexander Cappelen, Pierre-Andr´e Chiappori, Ranveig Falch, Sandra Halvorsen, Bereket Kebede, Alistair Munro, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen, Ingvild Skarpeid, Erik Sørensen, Bertil Tungodden, Arjan Verschoor, and Espen Villanger as well as seminar participants at the 68◦ North Conference, the AEA Annual Meeting 2018, Theem 2018, SEEDEC 2018, KULeuven, AFE2018, UEA, UvA, Maastricht University, FAIR Development Workshop, and SEHO 2021 for valuable feedback at various stages of the project. We are grateful to Simon Sichalwe, Ramadhan Hashim, Denna Michael, the medical district officer of Misungwi and the team of experimenters in Tanzania for assistance during the fieldwork, and MITU-NIMR for institutional support. We acknowledge the financial support of the ESRC-DFID grant ES/N014618/1. Charlotte Ringdal gratefully acknowledges financial support from Sara van Dam Project Grant of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and from a European Research Council (grant ERC-StG-637915) and the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Scheme, FAIR project No 262675.
Uncontrolled Keywords: household bargaining,family planning,incomplete information,tanzania
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 10:30
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 16:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85630
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2022.102915

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