Family Planning in Iran and the Expansion of Rural Health Houses
Sepideh Modrek, University of California, Berkeley
Negar Ghobadi, University of California, Berkeley
As a middle-income country with the most dramatic decline in fertility in the Middle East, Iran’s recent fertility experience has been of keen interest to scholars and policy-makers alike. Interestingly, the decline was most rapid in rural areas. Many have attributed the substantial decrease in rural fertility to the active participation of the government in providing access to family planning through the expansion of rural health houses. In this paper we assess the relationship between having a health house in one’s village at the time of marriage and fertility-related outcomes. We find a robust association between having a health house and number of live births, as well as attitudes on who should make household decisions about method of contraception. To ensure our results are not driven by the endogenous placement of the health house, we control for village-level fixed effects.