Social Networks and Women’s Reproductive Health Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural India

S. Anukriti, Boston College
Catalina Herrera, Northeastern University
Mahesh Karra, Boston University
Praveen Pathak, Delhi School of Economics

In this study, we investigate the causal impact of a social network-based family planning intervention on contraceptive use and reproductive health through a field experiment. We recruit 671 young married women aged 18 to 30 in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Following a baseline survey, each woman was randomly assigned to one of three groups: a control group (350), a solo-voucher group (156), or a “bring-a-friend” (BAF) group (165). Women who were randomly assigned to the solo-voucher and BAF groups received a voucher for discounted access to family planning services at a high-quality private clinic. Women who were randomly assigned to the BAF group were additionally encouraged to bring a friend with them. In doing so, their friend would also be eligible to receive the voucher for family planning. In this way, we evaluate whether enabling a woman to recruit a friend would lead to increased family planning access and use.

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P2. Poster Session 2