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How Parental Education Affects Child Human Capital: Evidence from Mozambique

Listed author(s):
  • Rasmus Heltberg

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Niels Johannesen

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

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    This paper anlyses how parental education affects child human capital outcomes, using household survey data from Mozambique. Four indicators of human capital are examined: height-for-age of children below 5 years of age, children''s rate of survival, children''s education, and total fertility of adult women. Using a sequential regression approach, it is investigated how mothers'' and fathers'' education impacts on child human capital outcomes through higher incomes, literacy, and changes in fertility knowledge and preferences. Education of the parents, and especially of the mother, is found to impact in a strong and significant manner on human capital outcomes. The effect of education seems to work through cognitive skills (such as literacy) to a large extent, but income, health knowledge, and fertility preferences also play a role. The results are robust to controlling for community fixed effects (which purge the estimates of all differences in infrastructure and prices), and there seems to be little difference in the determinants of human capital outcomes between rural and urban areas. For education, gender of the child matters: Mothers'' schooling and literacy has a stronger effect on girls'' education, and fathers'' schooling and literacy has a larger impact on the education of boys. It is concluded that programs to expand literacy, especially of women, are likely to have a higher payoff in terms of improved human capital and reduced fertility.

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    Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 02-04.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2002
    Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0204
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