Exploring the Association between Family Planning and Developing Telecommunications Infrastructure in Rural Peru

Heide Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This paper explores the association between the mobile telecommunications movement and family planning in rural Peru using geocoded DHS data available from 2000 through 2004-2008 and a unique dataset of cell phone coverage maps. Peru has historically high levels of social stratification but has increasingly developed an integrated mobile telecommunications network. Two linkages between cell phone coverage and family planning are posited. First, there is a direct association between knowledge transferred via cell phone and family planning behaviors. Second, there is an indirect link between modernization accompanying cell phone coverage and fertility transitions. I test these associations in a difference regression model which accounts for spatial dependence in family planning and fertility activities. Preliminary results suggest that cell phone coverage accompanies modernization which changes fertility preferences, but the technology is not being used directly to transfer information and attitudes about family planning activities.

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Presented in Poster Session 1