Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Health consequences of sterilizations

La Rupelle, Maëlys de ; Dumas, Christelle

(Working Papers SES ; 503 (revised))

In India, as in many developing countries, female sterilization is the main contraceptive method: 37% of women older than 25 are sterilized. However, no economic study assesses the eect of sterilization, providing guidance on ecient reproductive health policies. We analyze the consequences of sterilization for maternal health, considering the endogeneity of the decision. We exploit that... More

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    Summary
    In India, as in many developing countries, female sterilization is the main contraceptive method: 37% of women older than 25 are sterilized. However, no economic study assesses the eect of sterilization, providing guidance on ecient reproductive health policies. We analyze the consequences of sterilization for maternal health, considering the endogeneity of the decision. We exploit that Indian households face dierent infant mortality risks and have a son preference. Sterilization increases when women have a boy rst-born, but less so when they live in a malarious area, as they fear losing the boy; this situation provides an instrument. We show that sterilization strongly increases the prevalence of various symptoms in the reproductive sphere and do not nd any positive eect associated to sterilization in terms of women›s health. This paper is the rst to assess the eect of a specic contraceptive method on health with a clear identication strategy.