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Early Marriage, Women Empowerment and Child Mortality: Married Too Young To Be a «Good Mother»?

  • Guilbert, Nathalie
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    This paper uses data from recent Senegalese Demographic and Health Surveys to explore the link between female empowerment and child mortality via early marriage, defined as marriage before age 16. There exist three channels through which early marriage reduces a mother's ability to take good care of her children: the harmful physical consequences of early sex and pregnancy; a disrupted education; and reduced autonomy and bargaining power. Controlling for the first two of these allows us to isolate the empowerment effect of early marriage. We estimate that it increases the probability that the mother experience at least one son death by 4.43%, and raises the number of dead sons per mother by 0.074. Particular attention is paid to discuss and address endogeneity issues. We also further investigate the heterogeneity of impact by current age and marriage duration. Findings suggest that we effectively identify the empowerment channel.

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    File URL: http://basepub.dauphine.fr/xmlui/bitstream/123456789/11404/1/DT%202013-05%20Guilbert.pdf
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    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/11404.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Publication status: Published in DIAL Document de travail, 2013
    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11404
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dauphine.fr/en/welcome.html

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    1. Kirdar, Murat G. & Dayioglu-Tayfur, Meltem & Koc, Ismet, 2011. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling Laws on Teenage Marriage and Births in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 5887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Maitra, Pushkar, 2004. "Parental bargaining, health inputs and child mortality in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-291, March.
    3. Smith, Lisa C. & Ramakrishnan, Usha & Ndiaye, Aida & Haddad, Lawrence James & Martorell, Reynaldo, 2003. "The importance of women's status for child nutrition in developing countries:," Research reports 131, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Yuyu Chen & Hongbin Li, 2006. "Mother's Education and Child Health: Is There a Nurturing Effect?," Discussion Papers 00021, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
    5. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    6. Ian M. Timæus & Tom A. Moultrie, 2008. "On Postponement and Birth Intervals," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 483-510.
    7. Linnemayr, Sebastian & Alderman, Harold & Ka, Abdoulaye, 2008. "Determinants of malnutrition in Senegal: Individual, household, community variables, and their interaction," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 252-263, July.
    8. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Mukesh Eswaran, 2002. "The empowerment of women, fertility, and child mortality: Towards a theoretical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 433-454.
    10. Sarah Carmichael, 2011. "Marriage and Power: Age at first marriage and spousal age gap in Lesser Developed Countries," Working Papers 0015, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    11. Diane Dancer, Anu Rammohan, 2009. "Maternal autonomy and child nutrition: Evidence from rural Nepal," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 18-38, April.
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