Research projects out of the PopPov Initiative have generated evidence on how investments in reproductive health affect economic conditions at the household level, including the productivity, labor force participation, and savings behavior of women, children, and households.
This map is is a visual representation of the countries where the PopPov network of researchers have studied social, health, and economic issues. Each red pin represents a PopPov project and is located in the country of study.
This research will examine female labor market participation in the informal economy, and how that interacts with fertility outcomes, entrepreneurial success, and business community formation in Ghana. Harnessing resources from a large program evaluation in Ghana, this study encompasses several rounds of data collection from applicants to a national government-funded apprenticeship training program and the microenterprise-owners who applied to train these apprentices in their firms in 28 currently-training evaluation districts.
This research explores the link that health insurance improves access and utilization of reproductive health services and therefore, economic development.
Female secondary school attendance has recently increased in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the higher likelihood of attending school after puberty has put girls at risk of becoming pregnant while attending school. Using a panel survey designed to capture the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, this project analyzes whether teenage pregnancy contributes to lower school attainment and cognitive skills among young women in Madagascar.
This research examines the impact of fertility on women’s employment outcomes, especially the effect of fertility timing on labor-force attachment. It analyzes the effects of paid parental leave on birth-related interruptions in women’s labor force participation in the United States, by using monthly data on labor-force participation.
The ultimate aim of this project is to conduct multidisciplinary research on the impact pregnancy on income-generating and non-income-generating production in Burkina Faso; and to investigate how investments in reproductive health might contribute to reducing poverty and fostering economic development and equity.
This research investigates the relationship between birth spacing and income shocks in rural Tanzania. Using panel data from 1991 – 1994 from individuals and households in the Kagera region of Tanzania, researchers examine the impact of agricultural shocks on contraceptive use, pregnancy, and the likelihood of childbirth. They find that households significantly increase contraceptive use in response to income shocks caused by crop loss.
This study uses unique longitudinal data to analyze the impact of fertility timing on women’s long-term economic outcomes in South Africa. The research look at the impacts of teen childbearing, the timing of first birth more generally, and the number of children on a wide range of long run economic outcomes, including employment, earnings, migration, and poverty transitions.
Despite the global spread of reproductive health and family planning programs, little is known about long-term and multigenerational effects on women’s economic and social empowerment. This study will show the effects of participating in the Matlab Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning Program (MCH-FP) on the economic empowerment of women and their daughters over a 35-year period, which was initiated by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) in the rural Matlab area of Bangladesh in 1977.
This research aims to deconstruct the reciprocal relationship between women’s empowerment and family planning. The objective is to examine how women’s empowerment status, negotiation skills, and awareness, in conjunction with specific social and economic circumstances, affect consistent use of family planning methods. The second study is a quantitative socioeconomic diary (SED) study among pregnant women to determine how a newborn child affects consumption and savings behavior within the household, female labor market participation, time allocation of female household members, and nutrition intake.
This research addresses the mechanisms through which fertility responds to improved access to childcare in Brazil.
Nepal is one of the countries hypothesized to have a strong preference for a son. The project investigates implications son preference on the number of children per household and on economic decisions and outcomes such as poverty status.
This research looks at the long term effects of maternal fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) Wave 3, the research finds that those potentially exposed work fewer hours and are more likely to be self-employed with disproportionate effects on females and rural borns.
Fertility has dropped below the replacement level in an increasing number of countries, though Kenya is an exception to this general picture. The principal objective of this project is to understand the fertility stall in the context of poverty: what happened in Kenya and why? The objectives are: to explore the impact on gender systems in two different cultural and religious contexts; to comprehend the interplay with fertility and poverty; to analyze ways in which reproductive health and child mortality affect fertility and poverty in the household; and to synthesize findings from case studies and large-scale surveys.
Fertility and the number of children in a household can influence the way that a vulnerable household deals with critical risks and shocks. The research aims to identify and document the various roles children play in the household risk-management efforts of poor rural families in West Africa.
The transition from adolescent to adulthood is a critical time in the lives of young women. The decisions that they and their families make regarding marriage, childbearing, schooling, and work can profoundly affect the rest of their lives. Through their effects on fertility, labor supply and productivity, and child health and schooling, these choices can also have a major impact on economic growth and welfare. The research was designed to improve the understanding of the determinants and impacts of the major life course transitions of young women in Senegal and Madagascar involving marriage, family, schooling, and work.
Since the 1970s, many African countries have entered the demographic transition process; many are experiencing declining mortality rates, and entering into the second stage of the demographic transition of declining fertility rates. With this entry into the second stage of the transition, it is very likely that the country will experience a “demographic dividend” if a number of conditions are fulfilled, in particular with respect to the absorptive capacity of the labor market. This project aimed to reexamine the relationship between demographic and economic dynamics in Africa such as the notion of the demographic dividend with the focus on labor markets and migration.
Whereas knowledge regarding the operational design of reproductive health services is increasingly available, its impact on social and economic development is still poorly understood. This project and its five sub-projects analyze the relationships and interactions between reproductive health (RH) and poverty at the individual/household level, community level, and district level, relying on several data sources. Special attention is given to RH shocks and the impact of availability and use of reproductive health services on individual/household poverty.
There has been increasing evidence showing that environmental influences early in life impact on human capital later in life. This research examines the relationship between health early in life and later-life outcomes by analyzing the long-term impact of the 1989 village midwifery program in Indonesia on children’s health and cognitive outcomes.
The influence of fertility on female labor supply has been studied extensively in Western societies, but little evidence is available in sub-Saharan Africa. This project studies the impact of fertility on female time allocation to income-generating activities in northern Tanzania. Research shows that influence of fertility depends on the position of women in their household and the corresponding life cycle.
Improvement in children’s learning and school attainment are of great importance for the long-term development prospects of Sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective of this project was to provide evidence regarding the effect of fertility behaviors on schooling and work among children and adolescents, as well as regarding the variations by socioeconomic status, gender, and birth order in an urban area of Burkina Faso (one of the least developed countries in the world).
In many societies, the formation of marital unions requires considerable resources. In Egypt, young people and their families must save for years to afford the real estate, jewelry, furniture, appliances, and celebrations required for marriage. The purpose of this study is to investigate the consequences of changes in marriage behavior for Egypt’s economic development, particularly implications for women’s employment and for socioeconomic and gender inequalities.
To what extent and in which ways does poor RH at the household level negatively influence educational attendance of young children in Sub-Saharan Africa? This projects sets out to answer this question by analyzing household and district level data on school attendance of 103,000 primary-school aged children living in 287 districts of 30 Sub-Saharan African countries.
In Malawi, women on average bear about six children. One-quarter to one-third of these children are unwanted or occur sooner than desired and could thus be prevented by greater uptake of effective contraception. The key aim of this research is to assess the impact of unwanted births on family welfare.
The study investigates how fertility—measured in terms of household size and age composition—influences economic well-being and poverty conditions at individual and household levels in Ethiopia. Household economic well-being is defined in terms of labor force participation (especially of women), and household consumption expenditure.
The first-order benefit of anti-retroviral treatment (ART) is saving lives but the distribution of ARTs is expected to produce a socioeconomic benefit for the entire household: both the patient and the family members who have been providing care should be able to return to either school or the labor market and the welfare of the family should increase. The objective of this study was to measure the socioeconomic impact of reducing premature adult mortality due to HIV/AIDS at the household level by examining socioeconomic benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Women’s participation in the labor force is an important driver of poverty reduction, especially in rural areas. Reduced fertility may spur women’s participation in the labor force because less of their time is dedicated to taking care of children.
Because of the high returns of schooling in developing countries, policymakers have placed considerable attention to increasing access to school. However, cognitive development in utero can affect demand for education, through a maternal deficiency in folic acid. The researchers examine how reductions in micronutrient deficiency in utero impact child schooling attainment in Tanzania.
Parents’ beliefs about their own HIV infection status have the potential to affect their choices regarding reproduction and investments in child education. This project analyzes how women’s beliefs about their own HIV status affect fertility and intergenerational investments in human capital in rural Malawi, and evaluates the scope for different policy interventions to affect fertility patterns, infant and child mortality, and child schooling.
This study focuses on the relationship between fertility outcomes and women’s labor market behavior. As fertility declines around the world, childbearing patterns change in three ways. Women may delay their first birth; space their births; and/or stop having children at an earlier age than previous cohorts.
The study investigates the causal effect of reproductive health on poverty, primarily using data on randomized interventions that relate specifically to reproductive health in Malawi. Poverty indicators include not only current variables such as household consumption and female labor supply, but also investments in the health and education of children, which are known to be critical for long-term poverty reduction.
This research extends a longitudinal study in Ecuador that evaluated the impact of intervention programs which improve circumstances surrounding birth, maternal and child health, and parenting “quality” on child cognitive and physiological development. This project focuses on how family size interacts with the use of early childhood development (ECD) interventions and how it mediates the impact of those interventions on child cognitive outcomes.
This study examines the impact of fertility changes and childbearing practices on women’s labor force participation in Bangladesh. The study separately identifies the impact of changes in fertility on changes in work by taking advantage of a family planning program selectively introduced in the subdistrict of Matlab, Bangladesh.
Current discussions of the impact of economic crises on welfare have been contentious and inconclusive. We do not understand sufficiently how social, economic, or environmental shocks affect human capital development or outcomes in the long run, whether in nutrition and health, education, or subsequent childbearing decisions. his research will examine the long-run impacts of shocks on outcomes in adulthood, and whether these impacts extend to the welfare of the next generation.
This study builds on a long-run follow up study of Cambodian children–male and female–who applied for a secondary school scholarship program in 2005. This study evaluates the impact of the program and the resulting increase in school attainment, on a variety of outcomes among adolescents such as learning outcomes, life-skills, knowledge about healthy behaviors and risk taking.
Jobs for parents are frequently thought to be the best way to improve the welfare of children in developing countries, especially mother’s employment. This study looks at the effect of female employment on intrahousehold decision-making and ensuing income trends by doing an experimental evaluation of the intrahousehold effects of parents’ permanent employment.
This project analyzes links between fertility, intergenerational transfers, and economic development in South Africa. The project focuses on demographic behavior and economic outcomes at the household level in South Africa, taking advantage of key data resources: the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), the new National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), and other South African datasets for identifying the potential impact of reducing teen fertility on women’s human capital and earnings.
The goal of this study is to determine whether fertility-related policies affect education outcomes globally and specifically in Vietnam. It focuses on the “quantity-quality trade-off” hypothesis of childbearing and childrearing.
This research studies the diffusion of a biofortified crop through social networks and the impact on maternal and child health. With the goal of reducing micronutrient deficiencies, biofortification programs encourage farm households to adopt newly bred crop varieties that are denser in the deficient micronutrients.
Developing countries have faced the paradoxical dual burden of malnutrition and obesity. Recent studies have documented the long-term economic effects of maternal and infant malnutrition, however, understanding the intergenerational transmission of health capital is important to understand the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Using household and individual-level longitudinal survey data, the research examines the effects of the famine on the health and education outcomes of children whose parents were born or conceived during the 1959 to 1961 Chinese Famine.
The purpose of this study is to examine the interaction between fertility patterns, reproductive health, and labor force productivity at the household level, using data from Wave-I and Wave II of the Women’s Health Survey, which includes 3,200 women and households in rural Ghana
This study explores the impact of severe obstetric complications and the costs of treating such complications on economic, social, and physical well-being, and examines whether such events lead to sustained impoverishment in the longer term (three to four years). It builds on a recently longitudinal study (IMMPACT OAP study) of 1,014 women in Burkina Faso, which investigates the health, economic, and social consequences of severe (“near miss”) complications compared with normal facility-based births up to one year postpartum.
In the 1960s, the average Indonesian woman had between five and six children. By the mid-1990s, the average number of children had declined to close to three per woman. While there is an extensive literature on the impact of the Family Planning Program on fertility rates and contraceptive use, there has been very little investigation of the program’s impact on other aspects of a woman’s life, such as labor force participation. This research investigates the impact of the Indonesian Family Planning Program on the labor force participation decisions and contraceptive choices of women.
This project tests the assumption that poor reproductive health outcomes adversely affect the chances of poor women, their children, and families to escape poverty through a set of channels, including poor general health status, increased medical costs, and low education status.
This study examines the impact of access to AIDS treatment on employment outcomes in South Africa. Antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment offers promise as an effective policy intervention to improve the lives of the nearly 6 million South Africans who are HIV-positive.
Fertility decline has fueled a sharp increase in the proportion of “missing girls” in China. This means there are an increasing number of males who will fail to marry and face old age without the support normally provided by wives and children. This study addresses the impact of rapid fertility decline and gender selection on China’s marriage market.
Using experimental and non-experimental micro-level data from four different countries, the project measures the effects of investments in family planning and reproductive health services on a broad array of indicators of the health and well-being of women, their children, and their families. The research team assesses the causal effects of programs focused on choices about family planning and reproductive health care, on the health and well-being of women and children and on the status of women pertaining to their economic productivity, savings, and investment choices.
Much development aid for the past 40 years has been devoted to family planning based on the assumption that information and supply constraints for contraceptive services result in larger families than desired. Consequently, the welfare of each child in a large family suffers due to more limited household resources. However, it is not clear that larger families experience worse outcomes than smaller families, especially if older children play a role in household production or if the marginal cost of child investment is low.
Women’s struggles for equal property and inheritance rights in sub-Saharan Africa have been documented for decades. This study evaluates effects of community-level women’s property and inheritance rights (WPIR) on women’s economic outcomes using a 13-year longitudinal panel from rural Tanzania.
There has been an increase in young adult mortality in South Africa over the last 20 years. In KwaZulu-Natal, the probability of dying between ages 15 and 60 is 58% for women and 75% for men. The demographic consequences of these statistics includes an increase in the number of orphans and bereaved parents.
This research explores the possible impact of HIV status on individual-level economics in a marginalized population. It aims to identify differences in economic outcomes between HIV-positive women and HIV-negative women.