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Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of parental education on child health, exploiting a compulsory schooling law implemented in China in 1986 that extended schooling from 6 to 9 years. It finds that it is maternal, rather than paternal, education that matters most for child health. There are also important differences in the effect according to child gender. An additional year of mother’s education raises boys height-for-age by 0.163 standard deviations, whilst there is no statistically significant effect on girls height. Parental education appears to have little effect on weight-for-age of children. Estimated effects on height are driven by the rural sample, where an additional year of mother’s education raises boys height for age by 0.228 standard deviations and lowers the probability of a boy being classified as stunted by 6.6 percentage points. Results therefore suggest that - at least in rural areas - son preference in China has additional impacts beyond the sex-ratio at birth.

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  • Samantha B. Rawlings, 2015. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China," CINCH Working Paper Series 1511, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:duh:wpaper:1511
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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Hamad, Rita & Elser, Holly & Tran, Duy C. & Rehkopf, David H. & Goodman, Steven N., 2018. "How and why studies disagree about the effects of education on health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of compulsory schooling laws," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 168-178.
    3. Daniel Graeber & Daniel D. Schnitzlein, 2019. "The Effect of Maternal Education on Offspring's Mental Health," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1028, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Ma, Mingming, 2019. "Does children's education matter for parents’ health and cognition? Evidence from China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 222-240.
    5. Elizabeth Lemmon, 2018. "Utilisation of personal care services in Scotland: the influence of unpaid carers," CINCH Working Paper Series 1802, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    6. Buckles, Kasey, 2017. "Maternal Socio-Economic Status and the Well-Being of the Next Generation(s)," IZA Discussion Papers 10714, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational Mobility; Health; China;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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