Quantifying the Effect of Infant Mortality on Prenatal and Obstetric Care Use in Bangladesh

Heide Jackson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Prenatal and obstetric care have been shown to dramatically reduce infant mortality. However, this paper explores the possibility that local mortality regimes may also affect a woman's propensity to receive these services in developing countries. If a woman observes a high number of infant deaths, particularly during the period when prenatal and obstetric services become available, she may devalue and avoid these services. Using data from the Bangladesh Demographic Health Surveys and employing a multi-level model with instrumental variables, this paper explores the relationship between infant mortality and a woman’s likelihood to receive prenatal and obstetric care. Preliminary analysis suggests that high infant mortality may reduce an individual's likelihood of receiving prenatal or obstetric care and seasonality of birth may serve as an instrument which predicts the number of infant deaths a woman observes but not her propensity to receive care.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment