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Does Gender and Birth Order Matter when Parents Specialize in Child’s Nutrition? Evidence from Chile

Author

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  • Luis Rubalcava

    () (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, México)

  • Dante Contreras

    () (Universidad de Chile)

Abstract

Using household survey data from Chile the current paper presents evidence of how the nutritional status of the child reflects differences in parental preferences and child rearing technology within an intra-household allocation approach that includes a health production function. From the household optimization problem we estimate the nutritional status of the child conditional on a set of child, family and community covariates that reflect parental preferences and parental child rearing technology. We test directly whether birth-order in the family and whether being a son or being a daughter reflect how parents allocate the resources, given that the Chilean family is often linked to a machismo sentiment in the division of household chores. Logit estimates of the nutritional status of the child show gender specialization on child rearing: mothers give more resources to their daughters and fathers to their sons. This gender polarity is significant for non-oldest daughters and non-oldest sons, reflecting perhaps infant-order experience in child-care specialization. We also find that father’s education is less important than mother’s education. Nevertheless, mothers with higher education levels than their spouse seem to assign less family resources to their children than those who are relatively less educated.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Rubalcava & Dante Contreras, 2000. "Does Gender and Birth Order Matter when Parents Specialize in Child’s Nutrition? Evidence from Chile," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 353-386, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:3:y:2000:n:2:p:353-386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cuesta, Jose, 2004. "Social Transfers As A Determinant Of Intrahousehold Distribution: The Case Of Chile," MPRA Paper 12410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Francesco Burchi, 2012. "Whose education affects a child’s nutritional status? From parents' to household's education," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(23), pages 681-704, November.
    3. Michael Cameron & Steven Lim, 2005. "Migration, Household Composition and Child Welfare in Rural Northeast Thailand," Working Papers in Economics 05/05, University of Waikato.
    4. Cuesta, Jose, 2006. "The distributive consequuences of machismo: A simulation analysis of intrahousehold allocation," MPRA Paper 11243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. José Cuesta, 2006. "The distributive consequences of machismo : a simulation analysis of intra-household discrimination," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 1065-1080.
    6. Emilio Gutierrez & Laura Juarez & Adrian Rubli, 2011. "Grandfathers and Grandsons: SHould Transfers be Targeted to Women?," Working Papers 1103, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    7. Chumacero, Rómulo & Paredes, Ricardo, 2011. "Favored child? School choice within the family," MPRA Paper 31838, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Jaime Andrés Sarmiento Espinel, 2012. "Parental investment in their children’s education," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2012-09, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    9. Dante Contreras & Esteban Puentes & David Bravo, 2005. "Female labour force participation in greater santiago, Chile: 1957-1997. A synthetic cohort analysis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 169-186.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child's nutrition; Intrahousehold allocation of resources;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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