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Demand for Maternal health inputs in West Bengal-Inference from NFHS 3

Mandal, Biswajit (2015): Demand for Maternal health inputs in West Bengal-Inference from NFHS 3.

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Using data from National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) for India this paper attempts to look at various socioeconomic factors that account for the demand for maternal health inputs in an Indian state-West Bengal. Conditional Mixed Process estimation is used to estimate the demand functions for prenatal care and hospital delivery. We jointly estimate both these equations to control for selection bias in the use of health inputs. However, exogenous estimation results are also provided. It has been observed that the place of residence, standard of living, and educational level of women are those covariates that remarkably increase the demand for both the maternal health inputs. An impression we derive from the analysis is that the infrastructural facilities, supply of health professionals, workers, educational attainment of women have to be emphasized on to contain the undesired problems during pregnancy and child-birth. At the same time access to information and whether the women can keep some money for own use also raise the demand for quality care associated with pregnancy. This also indicates a linkage between mother’s autonomy and healthcare utilization behavior.

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