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Does mother’s education matter in child’s health? Evidence from South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Edgar Villa
  • Patricia Medrano
  • Catherine Rodríguez

Abstract

This paper studies the effect that mother's education as knowledge has on child health using height for age as health measure. Using cross sectional data from de 1993 South Africa Integrated Household Survey, and health measures form de National Center for Health Statistics, we find a significant and positive effect of mother's education on the height of a child. Specifically comparing a woman without any education with one with eight years of schooling implies that on average a two-year old child would be a half centimeter higher. In order to isolate de knowledge effect of mother’s education, we control for household and community resources. Additionally, we test for a differential impact of mother’s education depending on the age of the child. We observe a more important impact on children between 3 and 6 years old. Finally, our results suggest a complementarity between mother’s and father’s education.

Suggested Citation

  • Edgar Villa & Patricia Medrano & Catherine Rodríguez, 2004. "Does mother’s education matter in child’s health? Evidence from South Africa," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 229, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:229
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
    5. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1987. "How does mother's schooling affect family health, nutrition, medical care usage, and household sanitation?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 185-204.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; health production; returns to schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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