Revisiting the causes of fertility decline in Bangladesh: Family planning program or female education?

Bora J, Saikia N ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6735-6157, & Lutz W (2019). Revisiting the causes of fertility decline in Bangladesh: Family planning program or female education? IIASA Working Paper. Laxenburg, Austria: WP-19-011

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Abstract

Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, has experienced a dramatic fertility decline since 1985 with the TFR declining from 5.5 to 2.1. The reasons for this rapid decline have been controversially discussed by international researchers with some studies attributing it primarily to family planning programs others point at the simultaneously expanding female education and other socio-economic factors. In this study we try to comprehensively review the empirical evidence by merging the data of seven rounds of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys from 1993 to 2014 and reconstruct cohort and period fertility trends by single years of age and level of educational attainment. Multilevel regression analyses applied to over 75,000 individual women shows that education is highly significant and negatively associated at both community and individual level while the indicator of family planning efforts (visits by family planning workers) is not associated with lower family size, except in the earliest period at the community level. We conclude that for the bulk of the strong fertility decline in Bangladesh increasing female education was likely the main driver both at individual level and through diffusion processes also at the community level.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 08:40
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2019 08:40
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16200

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