Consequences of Unwanted Fertility: Longitudinal Evidence from Bangladesh

A PSC Brown Bag Seminar

John B. Casterline (Ohio State University, Department of Sociology)

Monday, 04/07/2008.   ARCHIVED EVENT

Location: 6050 ISR Thompson St

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).

PSC Brown Bag seminars highlight recent research in population studies and serve as a focal point for building our research community.

Forthcoming . Past . Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Barbara Anderson comments in NYT on Federal Law that protects citizenship status data from distribution by the Census Bureau

Anderson discusses impact of Administration's ongoing pursuit of Citizenship information around the 2020 Census with Michigan Radio

Burgard correlates job insecurity higher with negative overall health and depression than the impact of job loss and regain

More News

Highlights

Colter Mitchell receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Frey receives 2019 ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook