Evaluating the Impact of a Disruption in Publicly-Provided Contraceptive Supply on Fertility and Health Outcomes in the Philippines

J.M. Ian Salas, University of California, Irvine

I take advantage of the gradual phase out of USAID’s contraceptive donations to the Philippines from 2004 to 2008 as a natural experiment that exogenously disrupted publicly-provided contraceptive supply. Prior to this, more than two-thirds of the country’s contraceptive users relied on free supplies from the public sector, which in turn relied entirely on donations from international aid agencies for its contraceptive supply. Because it succumbed to pressure from the Catholic church, the national government did not fill the shortage that occurred. Utilizing geographic and temporal variation in publicly-provided contraceptive supply coverage, which was erratic and intermittent during the phase out period, this research looks into the short-run fertility impact of the contraceptive supply disruption. Results show that a demonstrable linkage exists between diminishing contraceptive supply from the public sector and higher fertility rates, and that this impact was more severe for rural residents, the poor, and the less educated.

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Presented in Poster Session 7