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Mother's education and child health: Is there a nurturing effect?

  • Chen, Yuyu
  • Li, Hongbin

In this paper, we examine the effect of maternal education on the health of young children by using a large sample of adopted children from China. As adopted children are genetically unrelated to the nurturing parents, the educational effect on them is most likely to be the nurturing effect. We find that the mother's education is an important determinant of the health of adopted children even after we control for income, the number of siblings, health environments, and other socioeconomic variables. Moreover, the effect of the mother's education on the adoptee sample is similar to that on the own birth sample, which suggests that the main effect of the mother's education on child health is in post-natal nurturing. We also find suggestive evidence that the effect is causal. Our work provides new evidence to the general literature that examines the determinants of health and that examines the intergenerational immobility of socioeconomic status.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 413-426

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:413-426
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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