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Gradients of the Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Developing Countries

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  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    () (University of Essex)

  • Rawlings, Samantha

    () (University of Reading)

Abstract

This paper investigates the sensitivity of the intergenerational transmission of health to exogenous changes in income, education and public health, changes that are often delivered by economic growth. It uses individual survey data on 2.24 million children born to 600000 mothers during 1970-2000 in 38 developing countries. These data are merged with macroeconomic data by country and birth cohort to create an unprecedentedly large sample of comparable data that exhibit massive variation in maternal and child health as well as in aggregate economic conditions. The country-level panel is exploited to control for aggregate shocks and trends in unobservables within countries, while a panel of children within mother is exploited to control for family-specific endowments and neighbourhood characteristics. Child health is indicated by infant survival and maternal health by (relative) height. We find that improvements in maternal education, income and public health provision that occur in the year of birth and the year before birth limit the degree to which child health is tied to family circumstance. The interaction (gradient) effects are, in general, most marked for shorter women suggesting that children are more likely to bear the penalty exerted by poor maternal health if they are conceived or born in adverse socio-economic conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Rawlings, Samantha, 2009. "Gradients of the Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4353, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4353
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakravarty, Abhishek, 2012. "Gender-discriminatory premarital investments, fertility preferences and breastfeeding in Egypt," Economics Discussion Papers 15987, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2015. "Intergenerational Transmission in Health: Causal estimates from fixed effects instrumental variables models for two cohorts of Australian children," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1509, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    3. Bhalotra, Sonia & Valente, Christine & van Soest, Arthur, 2010. "The puzzle of Muslim advantage in child survival in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-204, March.
    4. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Classen, Timothy J. & Thompson, Owen, 2016. "Genes and the intergenerational transmission of BMI and obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 121-133.
    6. Tom Vogl, 2017. "Aggregating the Fertility Transition: Intergenerational Dynamics in Quality and Quantity," NBER Working Papers 23081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Akresh, Richard & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Leone, Marinella & Osili, Una O., 2017. "First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War," IZA Discussion Papers 10938, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Bhalotra, Sonia & Rawlings, Samantha B., 2011. "Intergenerational persistence in health in developing countries: The penalty of gender inequality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 286-299.
    9. Lykke E. Andersen & Augustus Griffin & Justus J. Krause & Gabriel Orduña Montekio, 2017. "Measuring Equality of Opportunity in Early Childhood: A methodological proposal using Demographic and Health Surveys," Development Research Working Paper Series 04/2017, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    10. Kim, Younoh & Sikoki, Bondan & Strauss, John & Witoelar, Firman, 2015. "Intergenerational correlations of health among older adults: Empirical evidence from Indonesia," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 6(C), pages 44-56.
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    12. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Pogge, Thomas, 2012. "Ethical and Economic Perspectives on Global Health Interventions," IZA Policy Papers 38, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Eriksson, Tor & Pan, Jay & Qin, Xuezheng, 2014. "The intergenerational inequality of health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 392-409.
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    15. Andreella, Claudia & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Westphal, Matthias, 2015. "The long shadows of past insults intergenerational transmission of health over 130 years," Ruhr Economic Papers 571, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    16. Zhong, Hai, 2014. "The effect of sibling size on children's health: a regression discontinuity design approach based on China's one-child policy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 156-165.
    17. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-013, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    18. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Early-Life Rainfall Shocks and Intergenerational Education Mobility in Malawi," MPRA Paper 75978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2012. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Price and Income Related Shocks in Malawi and Uganda," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-014, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    20. Tom S. Vogl, 2017. "Aggregating the Fertility Transition: Intergenerational Dynamics in Quality and Quantity," Working Papers vogl_intergen_dynamics.pd, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    21. Dolton, Peter & Xiao, Mimi, 2017. "The intergenerational transmission of body mass index across countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 140-152.
    22. Hvide, Hans K. & Oyer, Paul, 2018. "Dinner Table Human Capital and Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 11303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    23. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Rischke, Ramona, 2016. "Analyzing nutritional impacts of price and income related shocks in Malawi: Simulating household entitlements to food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 31-43.
    24. Xiao, Mimi, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission and the effects of health on migration," Economics PhD Theses 0515, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    25. Dolton, Peter & Xiao, Mimi, 2015. "The intergenerational transmission of BMI in China," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 90-113.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    growth; public health; education; intergenerational transmission; early life conditions; health; infant mortality; height; environment; gene; in utero; income;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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