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Early Marriage, Women Empowerment and Child Mortality: Married Too Young To Be a «Good Mother»?

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  • Guilbert, Nathalie
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    Abstract

    This paper uses data from recent Senegalese Demographic and Health Surveys to explore the link between female empowerment and child mortality via early marriage, defined as marriage before age 16. There exist three channels through which early marriage reduces a mother's ability to take good care of her children: the harmful physical consequences of early sex and pregnancy; a disrupted education; and reduced autonomy and bargaining power. Controlling for the first two of these allows us to isolate the empowerment effect of early marriage. We estimate that it increases the probability that the mother experience at least one son death by 4.43%, and raises the number of dead sons per mother by 0.074. Particular attention is paid to discuss and address endogeneity issues. We also further investigate the heterogeneity of impact by current age and marriage duration. Findings suggest that we effectively identify the empowerment channel.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/11404.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Publication status: Published in DIAL Document de travail, 2013
    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11404

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    Related research

    Keywords: Early marriage; Senegal; Fertility; Child Mortality; Women Empowerment; Bargaining Power;

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    1. Linnemayr, Sebastian & Alderman, Harold & Ka, Abdoulaye, 2008. "Determinants of malnutrition in Senegal: Individual, household, community variables, and their interaction," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 252-263, July.
    2. Chen, Yuyu & Li, Hongbin, 2009. "Mother's education and child health: Is there a nurturing effect?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 413-426, March.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Smith, Lisa C. & Ramakrishnan, Usha & Ndiaye, Aida & Haddad, Lawrence James & Martorell, Reynaldo, 2003. "The importance of women's status for child nutrition in developing countries:," Research reports 131, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Mukesh Eswaran, 2002. "The empowerment of women, fertility, and child mortality: Towards a theoretical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 433-454.
    6. Maitra, Pushkar, 2004. "Parental bargaining, health inputs and child mortality in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-291, March.
    7. Sarah Carmichael, 2011. "Marriage and Power: Age at first marriage and spousal age gap in Lesser Developed Countries," Working Papers 0015, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    8. Diane Dancer, Anu Rammohan, 2009. "Maternal autonomy and child nutrition: Evidence from rural Nepal," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 18-38, April.
    9. Ian M. Timæus & Tom A. Moultrie, 2008. "On Postponement and Birth Intervals," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 483-510.
    10. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
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