Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #503

Does Timing of Health and Family Planning Services Matter? Age at First Birth and Educational Attainment in Indonesia

by Christoph Strupat

RGS, UDE, 08/2014, 36 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-577-5 DOI: 10.4419/86788577



This paper examines empirically whether midwifes, as an integral part of the 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 exogenous 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 (age 13-20) delay their first birth and also stay longer in post-primary school. According to the average returns of education in Indonesia, I conclude that family planning services provided by midwifes can generate large socioeconomic benefits by allowing young women to postpone their first birth.

JEL-Classification: J13, I12, O12

Keywords: Family planning; midwifes; fertility; education