On the Contribution of Mother’s Education to Children’s Nutritional Capabilities in Mozambique
This paper examines the role of mother’s education in expanding children’s nutritional capabilities in Mozambique, a country where both educational and nutritional deprivations are dramatic. The econometric results, based on data from the 2003 DHS survey, suggest that mother’s schooling is a key determinant of children’s nutrition, but its direct marginal contribution is declining after completion of primary education. Children whose mothers have completed primary education are far more likely to be well nourished than children whose mothers have lower or no educational attainments. Primary education works through the increase of mother’s general knowledge and, to a less extent, of her nutrition knowledge. Mother’s secondary schooling, instead, contributes only indirectly, by increasing household wealth. A further empirical analysis shows that there is no substantial difference in the benefits of mother’s education depending on whether she resides in urban or rural areas. Finally, the paper provides empirical evidence that female education is essential to improve children’s wellbeing in Mozambique, and that only a small part of this influence works through the traditional economic channel.
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