Family planning and fertility decline in rural Iran: The impact of rural health clinics

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Mohammad Abbasi Shavazi, Meimanat Hosseini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    During the first few years of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and aided by pro-natal government policies, Iranian fertility was on the rise. In a reversal of its population policy, in 1989, the government launched an ambitious and innovative family planning program aimed at rural families. By 2005, the program had covered more than 90% of the rural population and the average number of births per rural woman had declined to replacement level from about 8 births in the mid 1980s. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of a particular feature of the program-health houses-on rural fertility, taking advantage of the variation in the timing of their construction across the country. We use three different methods to obtain a range of estimates for the impact of health houses on village-level fertility: difference-in-differences (DID), matching DID, and length of exposure. We find estimates of impact ranging from 4 to 20% of the decline in fertility during 1986 1996.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-180
    JournalHealth Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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