The Hewlett Foundation and its partners have supported research to improve the evidence base on how population growth affects economic development and to inform medium-term policy issues, based on a research agenda outlined by the Center for Global Development expert working group in 2005.
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.
While there has been research on the role of community health workers (CHWs) on some of these issues, there have been very few studies that use an actual experimental setting to precisely examine the role of CHWs in improving people’s health awareness, use of preventive health measures, and final health outcomes. This project will examine these relationships using a unique experiment in Uganda.
Using the Demographic Household Surveys from 1992 to 2009, this project will address whether family planning program access has reduced fertility outcomes, and thus, if it has induced an increase in women’s economic opportunities as well as an increase in their children’s human capital.
This research studies the intersection of trade liberalization in the garment district as it relates to income shocks and nutrition health impacts.
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.
This study investigates the effects of adverse conditions in-utero and in early childhood on children’s physical and cognitive development and explores potential mechanisms through which these adversities affect children. The focus of this study is on violent conflicts that represent a significant shock to the well-being of many households in developing countries, using data from Colombia.
The goal of this project is to see if providing women with financial independence in the form of mobile phone savings accounts can help them better manage risk in their daily lives.
This research addresses household bargaining in the context of polygamy as it relates to family nutrition.
This study integrates theories of gender, socialization, and the life course to ask whether fathers of firstborn adolescent sons are more prone to risky sexual behaviors than fathers of firstborn adolescent daughters. Creating a natural experiment to observe the effect of the sex of firstborn offspring on fathers’ sexual behavior and health, the study uses data from thirty-six Demographic and Health Surveys collected from sub-Saharan Africa between 2003 and 2011 —where STD rates remain substantially higher than elsewhere.
Trade has been posited as a key factor in economic development, and economists have argued that trade leads to higher income growth rates. Many developing countries have adopted increasingly open trade policies with the objective of spurring growth, though there is little evidence of the effect of trade on child health.
This research addresses the impact of economic enforcement of the wife within the household, as related to the use of contraception, fertility, and incidents of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. When social insurance eligibility depends on marital status, this is a government intervention into the marriage market.
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.
This research explores new evidence on the role of subsidized contraceptives in influencing fertility behavior. It draws on two types of disruptions that affected the public supply of free contraceptives in the Philippines: a sharp reduction in contraceptives due to the phase out of contraceptive donations to the country coupled with a government policy that shirked public funding to fill the supply shortfall, and substantial fluctuations in the shipment of free contraceptives to the country’s provinces brought about by supply chain issues.
The study investigates the effects of population dynamics on the economic growth in Nigeria for the period of 1980 to 2010 by specifically determining the effects of fertility and infant mortality rates on economic growth. The study uses annual secondary time series data on infant mortality rate, fertility rate, and openness from World Development Indicators; government expenditure, saving and real Gross Domestic Product from Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletins; and primary school enrolment from various issues of the Annual Abstract of Statistics by National Bureau of Statistics.
Global food price rises threaten to undermine progress in improving maternal and child health and nutrition. While there is strong evidence that maternal and fetal nutrition affect children’s development, and survival, there is relatively little evidence linking aspects of reproductive health (e.g., breastfeeding, neonatal mortality) to the price and availability of nutritious food. This project aims to assess the affects of food commodity prices on reproductive and child health, specifically maternal and childhood nutrition, fetal development, neonatal mortality, and early-childhood development.
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.
Teenage pregnancies are common in many low-income countries, but the reasons for why teenage girls become pregnant are not well understood. Given the health and economic downfalls that can come with early pregnancy, this project investigates whether adolescent pregnancies can be countered by empowering young women.
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.
Low birth weight is a global health problem, with approximately 16% of all newborns in developing countries being born with low birth weight. Motivated by these statistics, this research evaluates policies that target maternal and children’s health in low-resource settings.
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 dissertation examines the causes of fertility variations in both Ghana and the U.S. as well as the impacts of family size on children in Ghana. The researcher examines the impact of the number of children in the household on child malnutrition outcomes, and findings suggest that the number of children is negatively correlated with child malnutrition outcomes in the short-term but not in the long run.
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.
This study investigates childbearing patterns among rural South African women, especially the relationship between HIV prevalence, AIDS mortality, and antiretroviral therapies.
This research explores the effect of population size and longevity on social welfare and public policies. It attempts to answer two main questions: How can the progress of nations be evaluated when populations differ in size, longevity and income distribution?What are the effects of fertility and mortality on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa?
Few studies have examined the effects of high fertility or population growth at a subnational level, and there has been very little interest in separating effects of aggregate-level fertility from effects of individual fertility. The primary goal of this project is to assess the importance of a woman’s fertility (wanted and unwanted) and the level of fertility (alternatively, population growth or change in age structure in the village, district, or province) on her children’s welfare, measured by indicators such as mortality, nutritional status, and education.
In Indonesia, only 2 USD per person is invested annually in water and sanitation, far less than other low and middle-income countries. Clean water is critical to maintaining proper hygiene during childbirth; therefore, readily available safe water could result in decreased maternal and infant mortality. This study examines the effects of piped water on infant mortality, the long-term effects on health in later life, economic outcomes, and how all these effects differ by gender.
Despite country level programs and international goals which aimed to improve maternal health, indicators of maternal health in Zambia continue to show poor maternal and child health. This study investigates how changes in poverty affect maternal and child health in Zambia, especially when analyzing the effects of equity in the utilization of health services.
Using population‐level data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), researchers examine the impact on child health of a large‐scale conditional cash transfer program, Oportunidades. This anti‐poverty program puts additional resources in the hands of women and their families and encourages parents to invest in human capital of their children.
This study explores the impact of Zambia’s child grant programme (CGP), a government operated large-scale unconditional CT programme, which gives monthly transfers, primarily to female adults with children under-5, on a range of maternal health outcomes focusing on quality and quantity of prenatal care and skilled attendance at birth.
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.
At the macro level, recent research has demonstrated a positive impact of remittances on poverty reduction in developing countries. Research on the impacts of remittances at the household level has provided mixed results, with some finding that migration would increase inequalities, whereas others have found positive impacts of remittances on poverty reduction. The objective of this project is to build upon this body of research and determine whether poor households are more or less likely to send migrants, and to assess whether poor households are more or less likely to benefit from remittances.
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 main objective of the project is to assess the extent of unmet needs in reproductive health (RH) of adolescents and youth in Central Africa and to illustrate their links with poverty in its various dimensions (income poverty and non-income poverty) and its levels of manifestation (microindividual, microhousehold, macrocity, and macronational). The study covers nine countries of Central Africa (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and Sao Tome) and relies on a complementary analysis of existing sociodemographic data and collection of original data including biographical, qualitative, and situational surveys.
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.
HIV has tremendous economic consequences, and can be a crucial factor in whether people are pushed into poverty. In sub-Saharan Africa, most new infections are among young people, and women are disproportionately affected. The goal of this study was to better understand what kind of information young women in Cameroon need in order to prevent HIV infection, and how the information can be best delivered. Researchers ran a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the impact of school-based HIV education programs to prevent risky sexual behavior in young women.
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.
Despite a high level of economic growth, population growth in Rwanda is still outpacing the rate of poverty reduction. To create capital and labor necessary for economic development, it is imperative that policymakers break the cycle of decreasing agricultural productivity, high population growth, and increasing poverty. This research examines the links among family planning, sectoral growth and income distribution in Rwanda.
India is home to the largest malnourished child population in the world with around 80 million children. India’s flagship program and the only national program for combating child malnutrition is the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). This research takes advantage of data from the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey on ICDS to look at the impact of its Supplementary Nutrition Program on children’s growth.
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).
Health risks are among one of the most severe risks confronting poor households in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where affordable and quality health care is scarce and access to health insurance is limited. Individuals may travel long distances or even move to seek treatment, escape from infectious diseases, or help their families overcome financial hardship. The research investigated the role of migration in dealing with the risks of chronic and acute illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, and communicable diseases that may not only affect the health of people but also their economic situation.
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.
While research has delved into many of the socioeconomic and demographic consequences of falling fertility rates, relatively little is known about its implications on the structures and meanings of relationships between people. A fundamental structural effect of having fewer siblings is that individuals have a smaller pool of available close-kin, which alters with whom they can construct support networks. This project investigates if individuals with fewer siblings experience, negotiate, and construct meanings of relationships differently from those with larger families.
This research estimates the effect of fertility on female labor force participation in a panel of countries using abortion legislation as an instrument for fertility. Findings show that removing legal restrictions on abortion significantly reduces fertility and estimate that, on average, a birth reduces a woman’s labor supply by almost 2 years during her reproductive life.
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.
High unmet need for family planning has been hypothesized to negatively impact economic growth by reducing per capita incomes and increasing the incidence of poverty. In contrast, demographic transition, driven by fertility reduction, promotes growth, and allows large amounts of human capital investments by households, along with poverty reduction on a broad scale. This research draws from the theory of demographic transition to study the impact of fertility changes and attendant health implications on economic growth, inequality, and poverty.
The objective of cash transfer interventions is to reduce structural barriers to education and to increase school attendance of young women, thereby decreasing their risk for HIV. Mobilization activities aim to reeducate young men about gender norms, intimate partner violence, and HIV risk; and to encourage them about protecting young women and reducing HIV risk in their communities.
This research addresses the larger debate in demography about the causal relationship between contraceptive supply and the demand for smaller families and fertility decline. The study investigates the effect of increased access to legal abortion when Ghana’s criminal code was amended in 1985 on a subsequent fertility decline.
This study analyzes the economic impacts of a delayed or a quickened decline in fertility rates in developing countries.
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.
Health and education are big concerns for youth transitioning into adulthood. Furthermore, they are even more critical for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. While there is a large literature on the relationship between women’s poverty and HIV/AIDS risk, little is known regarding the marginal impact of income for young women on their sexual behavior and partner selection.
This study investigates the relationship between extreme weather events, climate volatility, and infant survival in Africa, with a focus on socio-economic mediators as well as fertility responses to weather induced infant mortality. The project leverages all existing sub-Saharan African DHS surveys that contain household location coordinates and maps the birth outcomes reported by these households to daily temperature and rainfall estimates valid for a 50×50 kilometer area over the period 1977-2002.
Poverty is commonly cited as a key driver of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, yet little causal evidence shows a link between economic conditions to actual disease outcomes. Using data on more than 200,000 individuals across 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, the study finds that negative income shocks can lead to substantial increases in HIV prevalence, particularly for women in rural areas.
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.
China is one of the first developing countries to implement a large-scale regulation on pollutant emissions from industry. There is a necessity to examine the tradeoffs between the environment, health, and economic growth, and this study quantifies the impacts of air pollution and related regulations on infant mortality in China.
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.
The set of decisions made in the transition to adulthood—including when to exit school, when to marry, and when to seek employment—is critical with respect to a young person’s wellbeing over the life course. The goal of this research project was to collect innovative longitudinal data on a sample of young adults in Malawi to understand the links between non-marital relations and sexual experiences, transitions into marriage, socioeconomic status (both prior to and after marriage), and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
This project designed, implemented, and evaluated a combined economic and psycho-social intervention on individual/household economic outcomes and sexual/reproductive health outcomes among young people aged 18-30 in a rural area of southern Tanzania. The one-year intervention to reduce risky sexual behaviors was implemented as an individual-level randomized trial. The intervention offered the treatment group a cash reward (similar to conditional cash transfer programs elsewhere) at 4, 8, and 12 months if the individual tested STI negative at that contact.
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.
One of the main theories on how fertility affects economic development is through the age structure effect, which is the main focus of this project. The age structure of a population follows from the historical sequence of fertility, mortality, and net migration, and directly determines the relative size of the working-age population. The demographic transition with fertility and mortality declines lead to a boost in the population of working age individuals and thus, can experience economic growth.
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.
There is a very large but scattered literature debating the economic implications of high fertility. This study examines three themes through a review of the literature: 1) Does high fertility affect low-income countries’ prospects for economic growth and poverty reduction? 2) Does population growth exacerbate pressure on natural resources? 3) Are family planning programs effective at lowering fertility, and should they be publicly funded?
The aim of this study is to measure the impact of reproductive health services (RHS) on indicators of health and well-being. The research examined the impact of decreased availability of RHS as a result of the U.S. policy known as the global gag rule.
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 project looks at the ways in which population growth affects economic well-being through changes in the quality and level of environmental resources in India
This project explores the impact of financial crisis on the poor in Indonesia. Data shows in the first year of the crisis, poverty rose by between 50 and 100 percent, real wages declined by around 40 percent, and household per capita consumption fell by 15 percent. The crisis affected the poorest, the middle-income households, and households in the upper part of the income distribution in Indonesia.
This study explores how the husband’s presence in the fertility clinic affected uptake of contraception among women through a field experiment in Zambia, a country that experiences high excess fertility, despite availability of contraceptives through both public and private providers.
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.
The broad objective of the study was to investigate declining marriages in post-apartheid South Africa. The specific objectives were threefold. First, using the independent surveys from 1995 to 2006 and employing the Age-Period-Cohort Model, the study disentangled marriage trends into age, period, and cohort effects to determine whether the change in marital patterns observed in the post-apartheid period was a real shift in marital behavior and not just a trend driven by change in sampling designs and erratic fluctuations.
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.
The study uses a new dataset (SAGE) to estimate prevalence of care among older adults in six lower and middle income countries: Mexico, Ghana, South Africa, Russia, India, and China. It examines differences in care needs and provision across these countries whether care is differentially provided by gender across all SAGE countries and hypothesizes that women are more likely to provide care than men across all SAGE countries.
This project focuses on the early nutritional status of children and its effect on adult productivity by using longitudinal data to link early nutritional intake, nutritional status, and adult outcomes including productivity. A model of human capital investment and activity choice is used to explain facts describing gender differentials in the levels and returns to human capital investments and occupational choice. These include the higher return to and level of schooling, the small effect of healthiness on wages, and the large effect of healthiness on schooling for females relative to males.
The study assesses the trend and pattern of mortality and fertility rates and investigates the direction of causality between fertility and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While many regions of the world are already experiencing declines in mortality and fertility rates, and increases in economic growth and development, the mortality rate is still high in SSA, the fertility rate is rigidly downward, and economic growth is also very low.
Nigeria ranks second among sub-Saharan African countries in the number of people living with HIV/AIDS and is estimated to have the highest number of AIDS orphans, which may exceed 2 million by 2015. The social and developmental implications of this situation pose a serious challenge for the fight against the disease and its economic impact on families and the nation. This study aims to evaluate the cost of care, social consequences, and coping strategies of AIDS orphans living with their surviving parent or another family in selected rural and urban towns of southwestern Nigeria for the purpose of providing data that may be used to formulate policies and programs that will address the problems of AIDS orphans and related consequences.
Young people in South Africa face a high risk of HIV, teenage pregnancy, school dropout, and unemployment, and are further disadvantaged by the actual or potential loss of one or both parents to HIV and conditions of poverty, inequality, and food in security. These circumstances make the transition from childhood to adulthood especially difficult, and many of the most disadvantaged are in danger of falling even farther behind socially and economically due to illness, stigma, and the loss of key supportive adults such as parents and teachers. This research presents baseline findings from an intervention randomized at the classroom level in peri- urban secondary schools within the Durban metro area of KwaZulu-Natal, Province, South Africa – the “Siyakha Nentsha” program.
This project is the first subproject of “The Effects of Health and Demographic Change on Economic Growth: Integrating Micro and Macro Perspectives.” This project contributes to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the relationship among health, fertility, and economic growth and attempts to answer three questions: What are the long-term economic effects of interventions that affect population health or fertility? How is the relationship among health, population size, and economic outcomes influenced by local conditions? What are the biological, social, and economic structures that underlie the effects of health and fertility on aggregate economic variables?
There is an unequal sex ratio in India, which is due to a traditionally strong preference for sons, excess mortality for girls, and declining fertility. The rate of sex-selective abortions has risen due to legal abortion (from 1971), access to prenatal sex determination, and the increasing sex ratio at birth in India. Previous research on sex-selective abortions has ignored the interactions between fertility, birth spacing, and sex-selection. This paper presents a novel approach that jointly estimates the determinants of sex selective abortions, fertility, and birth spacing, using data from India’s National Family and Health Surveys.
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.
This project assesses how systematic bias may cause traditional cross-country regression analyses to understate the economic benefits of fertility reduction. The bias results from the common observation that reductions in fertility do not affect all parts of the income distribution equally.
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.
The research quantifies the opportunity cost of unsafe abortion in terms of individual health and costs as well as health care and societal costs. Preventing unsafe abortions would reduce morbidity and mortality among Ugandan mothers and benefit society through increased productivity because young mothers are at the core of agricultural production and child care in Uganda.
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.
This research program aims to increase the understanding of how economy-wide policy interventions aimed at reducing fertility contribute to long-term economic growth. Specifically, we employ an economic-demographic simulation model to provide a quantitative assessment of the effect of reductions in fertility on output per capita.
This study attempts to quantify both by using the timing of plague epidemics as an instrument for labor supply, and estimates the elasticity of substitution between fixed and nonfixed factors in preindustrial England. Using data on rent in preindustrial England on population, the researcher analyzes the elasticity of these factors.
In many Asian, Arab, and African countries, most rural women live with their mother-in-law during early-married life, and during years when women make vital fertility and human capital decisions, they are under the supervision of the mother-in-law. The study explores the effects of this intergenerational-within-gender power dynamic on the welfare of women and children of India and Bangladesh and finds that the health consequences of coresidence during pregnancy results in the mother-in-law being a valuable resource during this period.
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.
The study assesses the effect of health improvements on output per capita using a simulation model which analyzes the direct effect of health on worker productivity as well as indirect effects such as schooling, size and age-structure of the population, capital accumulation, and crowding of fixed natural resources. The results show that the effects of health improvements on income per capita are substantially lower than those that are often quoted by policymakers, and the period before any beneficial effects of an improvement in health are visible in GDP per capita can be long.
Since the early 1990s, several states in India have introduced financial incentive programs to discourage son preference among parents and to encourage investment in daughters’ education and health. This study evaluates one such program in the state of Haryana, Apni Beti Apna Dhan (Our Daughter, Our Wealth).
There is not enough rigorous empirical evidence to support claims that access to reproductive health services and technologies impact the economic lives of women and children, or that decisions about contraceptive use and fertility respond to improvements in economic opportunities. This study focuses on the effects of contraceptive availability on economic outcomes, male involvement and bargaining effects, and peer effects on adoption, with the goal to impact policy by providing evidence on whether and how to promote access to and use of modern contraceptives, especially in Africa where male involvement in family planning is actively debated.
China’s fertility decline over the last 30 years is considered to be the most rapid sustained decline ever recorded worldwide, a dramatic change which results from two sets of causes: rapid socioeconomic improvements and a stringently enforced birth planning policy. This change is so noteworthy that it tends to draw attention away from another dramatic feature of China’s experience – the exceedingly wide geographic variation that still persists. This study applies exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) and spatial panel regression models to examine country-level variation in fertility rates in China.
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.
In early 1994, more than 500,000 refugees fled the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda into Kagera, a region in northwestern Tanzania. Previous research has focused on displaced individuals, whereas this study examines the effect of forced displacements on the host communities.
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.
The objective of this study was to examine the consequences of the AIDS epidemic on economic development, using a population model. This population model identified the main channels through which AIDS, while raising mortality rates of young adults and lowering fertility rates, affected populations over time.
With rapidly declining fertility and increased longevity, the age structure of the labor force in developing countries has changed rapidly. Changing relative supply of workers by age group and by educational attainment can have profound effects on labor costs.
When sons move away from their village, the general hypothesis is that parents become more willing to marry their daughters to someone who lives nearby in order to secure care support in old-age when necessary, a result of a missing market for care. This paper examines the effect of brother’s migration on the marriage patterns of sisters in a rural area in Bangladesh.
Several subprojects were produced as a result of this research program. One paper analyzes the distribution of fertility rates across the world using parametric mixture models.