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The Returns to Parental Health: Evidence from Indonesia

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  • Dara Lee Luca
  • David E. Bloom

Abstract

This paper investigates the economic returns to parental health. To account for potential endogeneity between parental health and child outcomes, we leverage longitudinal microdata from Indonesia to estimate individual fixed effects models. Our results show that the economic returns to parental health are high. We show that maternal health not only significantly affects her children’s health, but is also intrinsically linked to her spouse’s labor market status and earnings. Paternal health appears to be more linked to child schooling outcomes, especially for girls. When both parents are in poor health, the negative effects on their children are compounded. Additionally, the consequences of poor parental health are enduring. Longer-run effects of poor parental health manifest in a lower likelihood of high school completion, fewer years of schooling, and poorer adult health.

Suggested Citation

  • Dara Lee Luca & David E. Bloom, 2018. "The Returns to Parental Health: Evidence from Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 25304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25304
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    Cited by:

    1. Bloom, David E. & Khoury, Alexander & Kufenko, Vadim & Prettner, Klaus, 2020. "Spurring Economic Growth through Human Development: Research Results and Guidance for Policymakers," IZA Discussion Papers 12964, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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