Trust, Social Networks, Family Planning and Contraception in Africa

Francesco Billari , Bocconi University
Vincenz Frey, Bocconi University
Valentina Rotondi, Bocconi University
Simone Spinelli, Bocconi University

Family planning programs in developing countries are often implemented either through media (i.e., radio, newspaper or television) or through personal contacts (i.e., health workers visiting the villages or health centers). In this paper, we develop and test a network-based computational model that shows that generalized and particularized trust moderate the effect of family planning programs on contraceptives' use in Africa. More specifically, while a basic level of generalized trust is required for any information to be credible and reliable, in areas where generalized trust is higher the efficacy of family planning programs through media exposure is higher as well. We empirically test this hypothesis by using multilevel data from the DHS and the Afrobarometer.

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 Presented in Session 8. Fertility in Developing Countries