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EDCC_article_prepub[1] - Tuesday 09:07 AM EDCC v56n3 50048...

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2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0013-0079/2008/5603-0001$10.00 Tuesday Feb 19 2008 09:07 AM EDCC v56n3 50048 BBS Revisiting the Impact of a Reproductive Health Intervention on Children’s Height-for-Age with Evidence from Rural Bangladesh anoshua chaudhuri San Francisco State University I. Introduction Evaluating public programs for their impact on targeted populations is an important exercise, particularly for developing countries, to justify efficient use of scarce resources and to achieve socially desirable outcomes. This article examines the long-term impact on children’s health status of a reproductive health program in rural Bangladesh. A large amount of literature examines the effects of public programs on various household outcomes, including the health status of children (see Behrman and Deolalikar [1988], Strauss and Thomas [1995], and Schultz [1997] for surveys). However, most evaluations produce biased impacts due to endogenous program placement and selective migration. For example, health programs generally tend to get placed in areas of poor health, resulting in underestimated programimpacts (Rosenzweig and Wolpin 1986). If unhealthy individuals or households migrate to the program area to avail themselves of treatments, the program impact may be underestimated. Further, if programs are administered on unhealthy indi- viduals selectively, the program impacts may be downwardly biased. Causal impacts would be unbiased only if the programs were placed randomly or as experiments. The Matlab Family Planning–Health Services project (FPHSP) is one such program that was administered in Matlab, Bangladesh in 1977 as a planned experiment by the International Center for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research of Bangladesh (ICDDR, B). This was primarily a family planning experiment that was administered to examine the impacts on contraceptive use and fertility rates. The experiment was then expanded to include an intensive maternal and child health component in two phases in 1982 and 1986. A treatment area was This article is based on my doctoral thesis, and I wish to acknowledge the guidance of my dissertation committee members Anil Deolalikar, Shelly Lundberg, Elaina Rose, and Carolyn Watts as I wrote the article. I would also like to thank Jere Behrman, John Strauss, Meherun Ahmed, Clarisse Messemer, Kakoli Roy, and two anonymous referees for valuable comments. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2003 annual meeting of the Population Association of America.
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CHECKED 2 economic development and cultural change Tuesday Feb 19 2008 09:07 AM EDCC v56n3 50048 BBS chosen, leaving a neighboring area, similar in economic and demographic char- acteristics, as a control. Further, the doorstep delivery aspect of the program in the treatment area (Fauveau 1994) with apparently no large-scale diffusion of information (Strauss and Thomas 1995; Foster and Roy 1997) into the control area provided a unique opportunity to circumvent the problems associated with endogenous program placements and self-selected program participation.
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