A theoretical framework of collective action for the evaluation of family planning programs

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Abstract

Typically, a family planning program seeks to alter individuals' fertility behavior. The very necessity for the existence of a family planning program presumes that individuals' fertility expectations and behavior are not yet consistent with the objectives of the program. Therefore, some individuals may choose not to cooperate. In this article I establish a theoretical framework for the evaluation of family planning programs by synthesizing the literature on the theory of collective action. Because of the characteristics of collective action - indivisibility and externality - noncooperation (free riding) is bound to occur. Faced with the problem of free riding, a good family planning program should ideally apply selective incentives, localize the costs and benefits, and invest in social capital. The relations among these three factors, cooperation, and fertility are also spelled out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994

Keywords

  • Collective action
  • Family planning
  • Free rider
  • Selective incentive
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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