Inderscience Publishers

Environmental quality and reproductive health in developing countries

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Women's reproductive health plays a crucial role in sustaining population health. This is because as women's health improves they are more likely to make healthy choices and promote the health and well–being of their children (Rapport et al., 1998). This paper utilises a sustainability perspective on reproductive health (Subramaniam, 1999). We argue that social and economic factors have direct positive effects on reproductive health in developing countries. However, the effect of environmental degradation, as indicated by levels of carbon dioxide emissions, is likely to be curvilinear. Data from 74 developing countries are used in this paper. It is found that social development and reproductive rights, both have a positive effect on reproductive health. In addition, the curvilinear effect of environmental development on reproductive health is significant. However, economic development has no significant effect on reproductive health. Future research implications and limitations are discussed.

Keywords: environmental quality, sustainability, reproductive health, developing countries, women, population health, healthy choices, well–being, children, David Rapport, Robert Costanza, Anthony McMichael, Vanitha Subramaniam, social factors, economic factors, environmental degradation, carbon dioxide emissions, curvilinear effects, social development, reproductive rights, environmental development, economic development, sustainable society, sustainable development

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