Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title His and Her Fertility Preferences: An Experimental Evaluation of Asymmetric Information in Tanzania
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://ses.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/His-and-Her-Fertility-Prefs_McCarthy.pdf
The total fertility rate in rural Tanzania is nearly four times higher than the global rate
of 2.3 births per woman. In the northern rural Meatu District, only 12 percent of women are
using contraceptives, although 89 percent report wanting to delay or prevent pregnancy. This
study evaluates the effect of a family planning program designed to improve information about
contraceptives through a randomized control trial. I estimate the effect of asymmetric spousal
information, randomizing the inclusion of husbands in household consultations about family
planning. I find that the informational treatment had a significant effect on reducing pregnancies.
Women who benefited from asymmetric information and consulted with a family planning
worker alone (without their husbands) reduced pregnancies by a significantly larger amount
(16 percentage point). However, husbands who were involved in family planning consultations
with their wives reduced their (relatively large) fertility desires. This research provides support
for community-based health services and demonstrates the trade-offs of providing asymmetric
information to spouses.

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