Author(s): Tan Boon Ann
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Abstract PIP: The findings of the final phase of a 3-phase multivariate areal analysis study undertaken by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in 5 countries of the Asian and Pacific Region, including Malaysia, to examine the impact of family planning programs on fertility and reproduction are reported. The study used Malaysia's administrative district as the unit of analysis because the administration and implementation of socioeconomic development activities, as well as the family planning program, depend to a large extent on the decisions of local organizations at the district or state level. In phase 1, existing program and nonprogram data were analyzed using the multivariate technique to separate the impact of the family planning program net of other developmental efforts. The methodology in the 2nd phase consisted of in-depth investigation of selected areas in order to discern the dynamics and determinants of efficiency. The insights gained in phase 2 regarding dynamics of performance were used in phase 3 to refine the input variables of the phase 1 model. Thereafter, the phase 1 analysis was repeated. Insignificant variables and factors were trimmed in order to present a simplified model for studying the impact of environmental, socioeconomic development, family planning programs, and related factors on fertility. The inclusion of a set of family planning program and development variables in phase 3 increased the predictive power of the impact model. THe explained variance for total fertility rate (TFR) of women under 30 years increased from 71\% in phase 1 to 79\%. It also raised the explained variance of the efficiency model from 34\% to 70\%. For women age 30 years and older, their TFR was affected directly by the ethnic composition variable (.76), secondary educational status (-.45), and modern nonagricultural occupation (.42), among others. When controlled for other socioeconomic development and environmental indicators, the nonagricultural activities had a positive direct effect on TFR. No direct effects were found to come from other socioeconomic development indicators, once these factors were controlled. The 3 factors that had direct effects on the fertility of women below age 30 were ethnic composition (.33), contraceptive pevalence (-.32), and secondary educational status (-.25). Other family planning program variables (contraceptive knowledge) and socioeconomic development indicators (exposure to modernization as measured by television ownership and health/living conditions as measured by infant mortality rate) affected fertility significantly but indirectly.
This article was published in Asia Pac Popul J
and referenced in Business and Economics Journal