Family Planning, Community Health Interventions and the Mortality Risk of Children

Ranjan Shrestha, University of Montana

In the last four decades, Indonesia experienced rapid declines in infant and child mortality alongside active government interventions. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS), this paper studies the impact of the national family planning program on the decline in mortality rates of children. First, using the difference in the timing of introduction of the program in two sets of provinces, a difference-in-difference approach shows that mortality rates of children fell in provinces where the program was introduced. Second, the relationship between contraceptive acceptance by the woman and the mortality risk of subsequent births is examined. A bivariate probit framework is used to overcome the bias due to correlation between contraceptive use and unobserved individual characteristics of the woman. The results show a 5 percent reduction in the risk of child mortality after a woman has used contraceptives, but there is no such effect of contraceptive use on infant mortality.

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Presented in Session 129: Infant and Child Mortality