Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Daniel LaFave

Second Advisor

Timothy Hubbard


I examine the effect of the Profamilia program during its beginning years over the 1960s and 1970s as it spread across Colombia. I find that Profamilia effectively delays first birth, intercourse, and age at marriage, and reduces the probability of having had a teen birth. These outcomes were also linked to increased literacy rates, improved educational attainment, and an increase in employment. Birth spacing and contraceptive use increased. These findings support current research that improving access to family planning services is an effective method for decreasing women’s fertility and improving educational and employment opportunities for women. The implication that having access to family planning services at younger ages has a more significant impact on each of these outcomes argues for a community-wide commitment to improved sexual and reproductive health access for all ages, even below fertility ages.


contraceptive use, family planning, fertility, first birth, women’s health, children’s health, Colombia, development, Profamilia