Home

>

Social networks and maternal health care utilisation in Tanzania

Social networks are increasingly being recognised as having an important influence on the health market outcomes, as they facilitate the exchange of information on health care related issues. Networks reduce search costs by providing information to peers about the appropriate health care providers and details about the functioning of the health care system. In this paper, we examine the impact of information externalities generated through network membership on maternal health care utilisation in Tanzania. We further propose new approaches for quantifying the size of one’s network. We adopt an econometric approach that minimises the problems of omitted variable bias. Using the Demographic and Health Survey data for Tanzania, a country characterised by low levels of maternal health care utilisation we find that social networks may enhance antenatal completion and early antenatal check-up probabilities by an additional 6-35 percent and sometimes up to 59 percent. The results suggest that failure to adequately control for omitted variables would lead to substantial under-estimation of the network effect. Finally, we show that irrespective of the measure of the size of the networks, high quality networks have better outcomes than low quality networks.
Working paper 540
1 August 2015
SHARE THIS Working Paper PUBLICATION:

Related South Africa’s Cities and Growth Spatial Challenges and Policy Interventions Content

Request for Proposals: The role of cities as drivers of growth and employment
Background Urbanization in South Africa is expected to reach 80% by...
Call for Work
South Africa’s future will be decided in our cities
Discussion Document 14 South Africa’s cities face multiple, overlap...
Dieter von Fintel, Justin Visagie, Ivan Turok, Takwanisa Machemedze, Claus Rabe, Sebastian Galiani, Edward Glaeser
Discussion Document
Monitoring South Africa’s metropolitan economies: A survey of the data landscape
Discussion Document 13 Disparities in data across different metropo...
Dieter von Fintel
Discussion Document
Cities, productivity and Jobs in SA: Problems and potential
Discussion Document 12 Cities contribute to national prosperity bec...
Ivan Turok, Justin Visagie
Discussion Document
Place-based economic policies: international lessons for South Africa
Discussion Document 11 Place-based policies are designed to support...
Harris Selod, Claus Rabe
Discussion Document
What luminosity data can and cannot reveal about South Africa’s urban economies
Discussion Document 10 As novel types of data are becoming availabl...
Takwanisa Machemedze
Discussion Document
Crime: A policy-oriented survey
Discussion Document 9 South Africa has a reputation for having high...
Sebastian Galiani
Discussion Document
Virtual CDE Workshop on SA Cities and Growth
Urban economics has provided powerful insights into how the charact...
Workshop

Search Resources

Ground Floor Brookside Building
11 Imam Haron Road
Claremont, 7700
Cape Town

PostNet Suite # 109
Private Bag X1005
Claremont 7735
Cape Town

Get Social