Decomposing the Fertility Response to a Mortality-Reducing Intervention in Matlab, Bangladesh

Julia Driessen, University of Pittsburgh

This paper examines the fertility effect of a childhood measles vaccination program. Prior research analyzed ‘total’ outcomes, such as net births. I examine fertility sequentially, decomposing the total outcome into the individual fertility decisions and identifying response heterogeneity based on fertility history. Fixed effects control for unobservable fertility preferences. This more detailed method identifies several significant and competing fertility responses based on factors such as family size. In the total literature these trends offset one another, underestimating the impact of this intervention on fertility decisions. More broadly, this approach describes how a childhood health intervention is absorbed into the fertility decision process, and how its effect on the utility of future births varies within the population based on fertility history.

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Presented in Poster Session 3