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How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?


  • Duncan Thomas
  • John Strauss
  • Maria-Helena Henriques


Many studies have demonstrated that parental education has a significant positive impact on child health. This paper attempts to identify the mechanisms through which maternal education affects one indicator of child health-height conditional on age and sex. Using data from the 1986 Brazilian Demographic and Health Survey, it is shown that almost all the impact of maternal education can be explained by indicators of access to information-reading papers, watching television, and listening to the radio. In urban areas, whether the mother is semi-literate accounts for some of the education effect. There are also significant interactions between maternal education and the availability of community services indicating that education and health services are substitutes but education and the availability of sewerage services are complements. Very little of the maternal education effect is transmitted through income.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:26:y:1991:i:2:p:183-211

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