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Growing up together: Cohort composition and child investment

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  • Jones, Kelly M.

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 % of child deaths are preventable by investments in child health as simple as immunizations, bed nets, or water purification. This article investigates how a household’s decisions regarding such investments are affected by the size and gender composition of a child’s cohort. I focus on a previously overlooked type of investment: nonrival, child-specific goods (club goods). I empirically estimate the response of immunization status to cohort characteristics. I carefully address the problem of endogenous fertility, which is common in cohort studies. Because most rural Senegalese households are composed of multiple nuclear families, a child’s cohort is composed of both siblings and nonsibling children. Estimating within households, I instrument cohort characteristics with those of the nonsibling (exogenous) portion. I find that children with larger (or more predominantly male) cohorts of vaccine-eligible age are significantly more likely to receive immunization. These findings suggest that children with larger cohorts may be better off in terms of club investments; this is a significant finding for child health given that many illness prevention methods are of a club good nature.

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  • Jones, Kelly M., 2014. "Growing up together: Cohort composition and child investment," MPRA Paper 55182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55182
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    3. Rangel, Marcos & Nobles, Jenna & Hamoudi, Amar, 2019. "Brazil's Missing Infants: Zika Risk Changes Reproductive Behavior," SocArXiv fu8bp, Center for Open Science.
    4. Martin Flatø, 2018. "The Differential Mortality of Undesired Infants in Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(1), pages 271-294, February.
    5. Kasey S. Buckles & Elizabeth L. Munnich, 2012. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 613-642.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family size Household composition Siblings Human capital Club goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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