DO TARGETED REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES MATTER? - THE IMPACT OF A MIDWIFE PROGRAM IN INDONESIA

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Abstract

This paper examines empirically whether midwives, as an integral part of the reproductive health and family planning programs in Indonesia, are effective in advising young women to delay their first birth and also influence the decision on post-primary school attendance. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey, I investigate the extent to which the expansion of a midwife program affects the age at first birth and the number of school years of women. My findings suggest that women who were exposed to a midwife when they have to decide on further school attendance (aged 13–20 years) delay their first birth and also stay longer in school. According to the average returns of education in Indonesia, I conclude that reproductive health services provided by midwives can generate large socioeconomic benefits by allowing young women to postpone their first birth.

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