The role of maternal cognitive ability on child health
The literature on child health suggests mother`s schooling is a key determinant of child health. Little is known of how other sources of maternal human capital contribute to her children`s health. This paper investigates the differential returns on child health of three sources of maternal human capital: schooling, cognitive ability and childhood background. Conditional on schooling and mother`s height, we first analyze the effect of maternal cognitive ability on her children`s health. Next, we relax the assumption of mother`s schooling and reasoning ability as predetermined variables and study the extent to which both returns reflect observed mother`s childhood endowments. We conclude by investigating the importance of mother`s schooling and cognitive ability in enhancing her offspring`s health during first-time motherhood. Results show maternal cognitive ability is an important factor in improving her children`s health. We find these returns robust to the inclusion of mother`s observed childhood endowments. However, estimates of mother`s schooling drop by 30 percent when we control for these variables. This suggests that unlike mother`s schooling, maternal returns to cognitive ability on child health are less likely to reflect mother`s childhood background. Finally, we find maternal reasoning ability to be an important factor in improving her children`s health in first-time motherhood. Our analysis is based on information gathered in the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS-1), which administered Raven`s Colored Progressive Matrices, and collected anthropometric outcomes. Our results focus on child height-for-age (0-17 years) z-scores as long-run health outcomes.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Duncan Thomas, 1990.
"Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
- Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
- Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
- Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
- Barrera, Albino, 1990. "The role of maternal schooling and its interaction with public health programs in child health production," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-91, January.
- Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1982. "Determinants of child mortality, health, and nutrition in a developing country," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 163-193, October.
- John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998.
"Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
- Bhargava, Alok & Fox-Kean, Melanie, 2003.
"The effects of maternal education versus cognitive test scores on child nutrition in Kenya,"
Economics & Human Biology,
Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 309-319, December.
- Melanie Fox-Kean & Alok Bhargava, 2004. "The effects of meternal education versus cognitive test scores on child nutrition in Kenya," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 39, Econometric Society.
- Alderman, Harold, et al, 1996.
"The Returns to Endogenous Human Capital in Pakistan's Rural Wage Labour Market,"
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(1), pages 29-55, February.
- Behrman, J.R. & Ross, D. & Sabot, R. & Alderman, H., 1995. "The Returns to endogenous Human Capital in Pakistan's Rural Wage Labour Market," Center for Development Economics 141, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Duncan Thomas, 1994.
"Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
- Thomas, D., 1995. "Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Parental Resources and Child Height," Papers 95-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Wolfe, Barbara L. & Behrman, Jere R., 1987. "Women's schooling and children's health : Are the effects robust with adult sibling control for the women's childhood background?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, September.
- Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:2:y:2004:i:3:p:439-455. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.