Association Between Urinary Incontinence and Memory Decline and Dementia Probability in a Longitudinal Cohort of Women
(with Rachel High, Miriam Alvarez, Victoria Handa and Jennifer Anger)
Forthcoming in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Thirty-Five Years Later: Long-Term Effects of the Matlab Maternal and Child Health / Family Planning Program on Women's Well-Being
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 118, no. 28, July 2021, p. e2101160118, doi:10.1073/pnas.2101160118.


The success of large-scale family planning programs depends on potential long-term benefits for women's health and economic empowerment. They are presumed to reduce total pregnancies and family size, which may free up women's time and resources. However, few studies have established long-term effects on health. We investigate the highly influential Matlab Maternal Child Health / Family Planning quasi-experiment effects on lifetime fertility and multiple dimensions of health 35 years after introduction of services. For cohorts of women defined by age at program initiation, using baseline and follow-up survey data, we find the program led to fewer children but few significant effects on health or economic production with one exception: women born 1950-1961, who experienced the largest MCH/FP effects on contraception and childbearing, have significantly poorer metabolic and functional health. Despite strong arguments in favor of long-term benefits, we observe no positive effects of this family planning program on long-term health.

Media coverage: Time Magazine
Fig 2. MCH/FP Program Effects on Women's Health Domains

Women born 1950-1961 who were in their prime fertility years during the program had worse overall and metabolic health

Working Papers

Improving the Early Childhood Environment: Direct and Distributional Effects on Human Capital for Multiple Generations
(with Tania Barham, Gisella Kagy, and Jena Hamadani) Under review


This paper examines the long-term and intergenerational effects of improving the early childhood health environment on human capital in Bangladesh. In adulthood, children eligible for health promoting interventions exhibit increased height and reduced short stature, while males achieve higher levels of educational attainment. These finding are concentrated among individuals with the lowest pre-program health endowment, reducing inequality in human capital across generations, and underscoring the program's distributional implications. Intergenerational effects reveal daughters experienced increased height, reduced stunting, and improved cognitive outcomes. The findings suggest that failing to consider distributional and intergenerational effects of programs could lead to underinvestment in children.

Media coverage: VoxDev
Timeline of Interventions, Birth Cohorts and Data Collection

MCH-FP program interventions relative to affected birth cohorts and data collection events

Works in Progress

Long Run Impacts of Famine Exposure: A Study of the 1974-1975 Bangladesh Famine
(with Gisella Kagy)