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Can Basic Maternal Literacy Skills Improve Infant Health Outcomes? Evidence from the Education Act in Nepal

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  • Vinish Shrestha

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

Abstract

The National Education System Plan (NESP), which was implemented in 1971, reshaped the edu- cation system of Nepal and increased access to education among females. I use this dramatic change in Nepal’s education system as a quasi-natural experiment to identify the effect of maternal literacy skills such as the ability to read, write, and the highest level of schooling on infant and child mortal- ity outcomes. The results suggest that the reform improved educational attainment among females of school-going-age during the time of the reform but had no effect on male’s educational attainment. Using within cohort and across district variations in educational outcomes due to the reform, I find that one more year of maternal schooling reduces under five mortality rate by 4.5 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Vinish Shrestha, 2016. "Can Basic Maternal Literacy Skills Improve Infant Health Outcomes? Evidence from the Education Act in Nepal," Working Papers 2016-08, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2016-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mother's literacy; infant mortality; returns to education.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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