, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 257-267,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Feb 2011

The Effect of Contraceptive Knowledge on Fertility: The Roles of Mass Media and Social Networks


This study examines the effect of contraceptive knowledge on fertility during the period when Taiwan’s family planning programs were in effect. This study contributes to previous studies by directly measuring individual’s contraceptive knowledge and fertility, as well as applying an instrumental variable approach to gauge the effect of contraceptive knowledge on fertility. The results indicate that mass media and social networks play important roles in disseminating contraceptive knowledge. This study finds that women transform their knowledge into behavior—that is, contraceptive knowledge reduces fertility, no matter which fertility metric is measured (life-time fertility or probability of giving birth).