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Gradients of the Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Developing Countries

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Author Info

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    ()
    (University of Essex)

  • Rawlings, Samantha

    ()
    (University of Reading)

Abstract

This paper investigates the sensitivity of the intergenerational transmission of health to exogenous changes in income, education and public health, changes that are often delivered by economic growth. It uses individual survey data on 2.24 million children born to 600000 mothers during 1970-2000 in 38 developing countries. These data are merged with macroeconomic data by country and birth cohort to create an unprecedentedly large sample of comparable data that exhibit massive variation in maternal and child health as well as in aggregate economic conditions. The country-level panel is exploited to control for aggregate shocks and trends in unobservables within countries, while a panel of children within mother is exploited to control for family-specific endowments and neighbourhood characteristics. Child health is indicated by infant survival and maternal health by (relative) height. We find that improvements in maternal education, income and public health provision that occur in the year of birth and the year before birth limit the degree to which child health is tied to family circumstance. The interaction (gradient) effects are, in general, most marked for shorter women suggesting that children are more likely to bear the penalty exerted by poor maternal health if they are conceived or born in adverse socio-economic conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4353.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, 95 (2), 660 - 672
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4353

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Related research

Keywords: gene; public health; education; intergenerational transmission; early life conditions; health; infant mortality; height; environment; in utero; growth; income;

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References

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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
  2. Bereket Kebede, 2003. "Genetic Endowments, Parental and Child Health in Rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Joshua Angrist, 1999. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Working papers 99-31, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007. "Child mortality, income and adult height," Working Papers 162, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1990. "The Intergenerational Correlation between Children's Adult Earnings and Their Parents' Income: Result from the Michigan Panel Survey of Income Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(2), pages 115-27, June.
  7. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2004. "Child Health and Economic Crisis in Peru," Working Papers 242, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  8. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  9. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 45-58, Summer.
  10. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
  11. Lee, Lung-fei & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Pitt, Mark M., 1997. "The effects of improved nutrition, sanitation, and water quality on child health in high-mortality populations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 209-235, March.
  12. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  13. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Childs Education: A Natural Experiment," CEE Discussion Papers 0040, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  14. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  15. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607, Fall.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2010. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 4866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Abhishek Chakravarty, 2012. "Gender-discriminatory premarital investments, fertility preferences and breastfeeding in Egypt," Economics Discussion Papers 723, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2012. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in Africa," Discussion Papers 130164, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
  4. Sonia Bhalotra & Thomas Pogge, 2012. "Ethical and Economic Perspectives on Global Health Interventions Abstract: Interventions that improve childhood health directly improve the quality of life and, in addition, have multiplier effects, p," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/286, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Bhalotra, Sonia & Valente, Christine & van Soest, Arthur, 2010. "The puzzle of Muslim advantage in child survival in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-204, March.
  6. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2012. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Price and Income Related Shocks in Malawi and Uganda," Working Papers 2012-014, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA).
  7. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Pogge, Thomas, 2012. "Ethical and Economic Perspectives on Global Health Interventions," IZA Policy Papers 38, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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