IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is consanguinity an impediment to improving human development outcomes ?


  • Mete,Cem
  • Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves
  • Giles,John T.
  • Alderman,Harold H.


This paper uses unique data collected in rural Pakistan to assess the extent to which consanguinity, which is widespread in North Africa, Central and West Asia, and most parts of South Asia, is linked to child cognitive ability and nutritional status. As economic benefits of marrying cousins may lead to upward bias in estimates of the effects of consanguinity on child outcomes, prior work likely underestimates the negative impacts of consanguinity on child outcomes. This paper finds that children born into consanguineous marriages have lower test scores, lower height-for-age, and a higher likelihood of being severely stunted. After controlling for current household wealth and parent education, the effects of endogenous consanguinity on child cognitive ability and height-for-age are identified by (current and past) grandfather land ownership and maternal grandparent mortality as instruments for consanguineous marriage of parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Mete,Cem & Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves & Giles,John T. & Alderman,Harold H., 2017. "Is consanguinity an impediment to improving human development outcomes ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8074, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8074

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:8074. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.