Education and Contraception Choice among Women in Vietnam

Jenny Liu, University of California, Berkeley
Ha Nguyen, University of California, Berkeley
Yevgeniy Goryakin, University of California, Berkeley

The costs of fertility regulation may encompass non-monetary psychic costs, such as those related to intrahousehold negotiation of sexual and fertility choices, especially in more traditional societies in which women may have little bargaining power. We investigate the role that education has on the choice of contraception method used among women (age 25-49) in the Vietnam National Health Survey 2001-2002. Education is hypothesized to reduce fertility regulation costs by increasing women’s bargaining position relative to men’s and thus may better able to negotiate the use of methods that impose a higher relative inconvenience cost on her partner. In fact, we find increasing educational attainment to be significantly associated with increasing odds of using condoms and period abstinence. To the extent that we are able to address endogeneity and other omitted variables, these findings lend some support to increased bargaining power as a mediating factor in the choice of contraception methods.

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Presented in Poster Session 3