How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce Indonesian fertility

by Paul Gertler, John W. Molyneaux

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This paper examines the contributions of family planning programs, economic development and women's status to Indonesian fertility decline from 1982-1987. Methodologically, the authors unify seemingly conflicting demographic and economic frameworks into a single "structural" proximate cause model as well as statistically control for the targeted (non-random) placement of family planning program inputs. The results are consistent with both frameworks; 75 percent of the fertility decline resulted from increased contraceptive use, but was induced primarily through economic development and improved female education and economic opportunities. However, the dramatic impact of the changes in demand side factors (education and economic development) on contraceptive use was possible only because there already existed a highly responsive contraceptive supply delivery system.

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