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What did you do all day ? maternal education and child outcomes

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  • Andrabi, Tahir
  • Das, Jishnu
  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz

Abstract

Female education levels are very low in many developing countries. Does maternal education have a causal impact on children's educational outcomes even at these very low levels of education? By combining a nationwide census of schools in Pakistan with household data, the authors use the availability of girls'schools in the mother's birth village as an instrument for maternal schooling to address this issue. Since public schools in Pakistan are segregated by gender, the instrument affects only maternal education rather than the education levels of both mothers and fathers. The analysis finds that children of mothers with some education spend 75 minutes more on educational activities at home compared with children whose mothers report no education at all. Mothers with some education also spend more time helping their children with school work; the effect is stronger (an extra 40 minutes per day) in families where the mother is likely the primary care-giver. Finally, test scores for children whose mothers have some education are higher in English, Urdu (the vernacular), and mathematics by 0.24-0.35 standard deviations. There is no relationship between maternal education and mother’s time spent on paid work or housework - a posited channel through which education affects bargaining power within the household. And there is no relationship between maternal education and the mother's role in educational decisions or in the provision of other child-specific goods, such as expenditures on pocket money, uniforms, and tuition. The data therefore suggest that at these very low levels of education, maternal education does not substantially affect a mother's bargaining power within the household. Instead, maternal education could directly increase the mother's productivity or affect her preferences toward children’s education in a context where her bargaining power is low.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2009. "What did you do all day ? maternal education and child outcomes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5143, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5143
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kentaro Shimada & Zeba Khan & Suguru Mizunoya & Ayako Wakano, 2016. "An Update of the Returns to Education in Kenya: Accounting both endogeneity and sample selection biases," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-18, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    2. Rachel Heath & Seema Jayachandran, 2016. "The Causes and Consequences of Increased Female Education and Labor Force Participation in Developing Countries," Working Papers id:11434, eSocialSciences.
    3. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Le, Huong Thu & Connelly, Luke B., 2018. "Rain, rain, go away: Weather and children’s time allocation," MPRA Paper 85731, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2014. "Education and Household Welfare," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 73-115.
    5. Heath, Rachel, 2017. "Fertility at work: Children and women's labor market outcomes in urban Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 190-214.
    6. Kamanda, Mamusu & Madise, Nyovani & Schnepf, Sylke, 2016. "Does living in a community with more educated mothers enhance children's school attendance? Evidence from Sierra Leone," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 114-124.
    7. Elisabeth Bügelmayer & Daniel D. Schnitzlein, 2014. "Is It the Family or the Neighborhood?: Evidence from Sibling and Neighbor Correlations in Youth Education and Health," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 716, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Gabriela Aparicio & Paul E. Carrillo & M. Shahe Emran, 2013. "Are Sunday Babies Doomed for Life? Measuring the Sunday-Born Achievement Gap in Ecuador," Working Papers 2013-2, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

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    Keywords

    Education For All; Primary Education; Access&Equity in Basic Education; Early Childhood Development; Youth and Governance;

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