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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

psc brown bag iconConsequences of Unwanted Fertility: Longitudinal Evidence from Bangladesh

John Casterline (Department of Sociology, Ohio State University)

04/07/2008, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

The prevention of unwanted births has long been a fundamental justification for investment of public and private resources in family planning services. Unwanted childbearing is assumed to have detrimental consequences – for the child and for its family and larger community – that are distinctive, substantial, and potentially long-term. There is, however, surprisingly little empirical research that offers a solid scientific basis for this assumption, especially in low-income non-Western societies. We examine the impact of child wantedness on child survival and schooling in rural Bangladesh via analysis of longitudinal data collected in the period 1982-2007. The sample of children is large as compared to samples in previous research, and child wantedness is measured prospectively and on a sex-specific basis. Two analytical strategies to remove confounding effects of unmeasured factors are employed: models with fixed effects for sibling set, and a “natural experiment” provided by the random assignment of child sex. The regression estimates indicate that unwanted births suffer higher mortality during infancy (odds ratios in excess of 2.0) and complete fewer years of schooling. Higher mortality is characteristic of births unwanted either because the desired family size has been exceeded or because the child is the wrong sex. Effects on schooling, in contrast, are concentrated among children who are unwanted due to their sex (females).


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