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Traditional Beliefs and Learning about Maternal Risk in Zambia

Author

Listed:
  • Nava Ashraf
  • Erica Field
  • Giuditta Rusconi
  • Alessandra Voena
  • Roberta Ziparo

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

Maternal mortality remains very high in many parts of the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. While maternal deaths are observable, it may not be straightforward for individuals to learn about risk factors. This paper utilizes novel data on male and female perceptions of maternal risk in Zambia to document that superstitions about causes of maternal mortality are pervasive and to uncover evidence that such beliefs impede learning about maternal health risk levels and correlates. In our data, people who hold traditional beliefs disregard past birth complications completely in assessing future risk, unlike those who hold modern beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • Nava Ashraf & Erica Field & Giuditta Rusconi & Alessandra Voena & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Traditional Beliefs and Learning about Maternal Risk in Zambia," Post-Print hal-01633994, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01633994
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171106
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01633994
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:172:y:2019:i:c:p:52-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nava Ashraf & Natalie Bau & Nathan Nunn & Alessandra Voena, 2016. "Bride Price and Female Education," NBER Working Papers 22417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Farré, Lídia & González, Libertad, 2019. "Does paternity leave reduce fertility?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 52-66.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:114:y:2019:i:c:p:156-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rachel Cassidy & Marije Groot Bruinderink & Wendy Janssens & Karlijn Morsink, 2018. "The Power to Protect: Household Bargaining and Female Condom Use," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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