Is Education the Best Contraceptive? Examining the Relative Influence of Schooling and Family Planning Environments across Sub-Saharan Africa

Sarah Giroux, Cornell University
Benjamin Gandesbery, Cornell University

This paper uses mix of regression and advanced decomposition methods to document the extent to which expansion of female schooling has boosted use of modern contraception methods. More specifically, we first assess how much of the gain in use of modern contraceptives is driven by increased use among highly educated women (behavioral component) versus growth the relative size of each education group (compositional component). As a second step, we decompose the behavioral component further to understand how much of the gain is driven by baseline factors, changes in the impact of education itself, and all other factors. After this, we regress family planning environment (FPE) scores on our decomposition components to determine the extent to which the baseline and education effects are impacted by increased investments in the FPE.

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Presented in Session 58: Social Disparities in Contraceptive Use Patterns