Women’s and Men’s Social Networks and Contraceptive Use Dynamics: Longitudinal Evidence from Ghana

Peter Aglobitse, University of Cape Coast
John B. Casterline, Ohio State University

This paper examines the effects of social network experience on contraceptive use dynamics in six communities in southern Ghana. The data permit assessment of the explanatory power of both women’s and men’s social network experience. Men’s social networks have been largely neglected in research on social interaction and reproduction in developing countries, despite the fact that in most of these societies men have a decisive voice in reproductive decision-making. Panel survey data are analyzed for roughly 900 women and their male partners covering five years of observation. The monthly probability of use of modern contraception is modeled as a function of conventional demographic and socioeconomic variables and separate sets of social network variables specific to the woman and to her male partner. The regression modeling includes strategies for dealing with the endogeneity of social networks and unobservables that might bias the estimation of social network effects.

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Presented in Session 53: Contraception