The effect of increasing Women's autonomy on primary and repeated caesarean sections in Brazil.
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de Oliveira, V. H., Lee, I., & Quintana-Domeque, C. (2022). The effect of increasing Women's autonomy on primary and repeated caesarean sections in Brazil.. Health Econ https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.4522
Caesarean section (C-section) rates continue to rise globally. Yet, there is little consensus about the key determinants of rising C-section rates and the sources of variation in C-section rates across the world. While C-sections can save lives when medically justified, unnecessary surgical procedures can be harmful for women and babies. We show that a state-wide law passed in São Paulo (Brazil), which increased women's autonomy to choose to deliver via C-section even when not medically necessary, is associated with a 3% increase in overall C-section rates. This association was driven by a 5% increase in primary C-sections, rather than repeated C-sections. Since the law emphasizes women's autonomy, these results are consistent with mothers' demand being an important contributor to high C-section rates in this context.
SHORT RESEARCH ARTICLE, caesarian sections, natural experiment, policy change, synthetic control
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.4522
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/337419