Does Parental Education Protect Child Health? Some Evidence from Rural Udaipur

  • Sudeshna Maitra
Part of the New Economic Windows book series (NEW)


The role of parental education in influencing child health outcomes has received much attention in the development literature. In this paper, I ask if parental education is protective of child health, as measured by seven different health outcomes, in a recent survey conducted in rural Udaipur. This study differs from most previous research in that it offers insight on the impact of parental education on the health of older children (aged 0–13) instead of infants alone and that it explores the relationship for multiple instead of only one or two diverse measures of child health. I show that the overall effect of parental education on child health is weak and that this finding could, in part, be driven by a failure of better parental health behaviors to lead to better child health outcomes, even though parental education is strongly associated with these better behaviors.


Health Behavior Child Health Parental Education Maternal Education Child Survival 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Agarwal, K.N. (2006). “Indicators for Assessment of Anemia and Iron Deficiency in the Community”. Available at: super1/lecture/lec24831/article.docGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Banerjee, Abhijit, Deaton, Angus and Duflo, Esther (2004a). “Health Care Delivery in Rural Rajasthan”, Economic and Political Weekly, February 28, 2004, pp. 944–949Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Banerjee, Abhijit, Deaton, Angus and Duflo, Esther (2004b). “Wealth, Health and Health Services in Rural Rajasthan”, American Economic Review, 94(2), pp. 326–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bicego, George T. and Boerma, J. Ties (1993). “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Study of Survey Data from 17 Countries.” Social Science and Medicine, 36(9), pp. 1207–1227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Caldwell, J.C. (1979). “Education as a Factor in Mortality Decline: An Examination of Nigerian Data.” Population Studies, 33(3), pp. 395–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Case, Anne, Fertig, Angela and Paxson, Christina (2005). “The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance.” Journal of Health Economics, 24, pp. 365–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Case, Anne, Lubotsky, Darren and Paxson, Christina (2002). “Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient.” American Economic Review, 92(5), pp. 1308–1334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chou, Shin-Yi, Liu, Jin-Tan, Grossman, Michael and Joyce, Theodore J. (2007). Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan. NBER Working Paper No. 13466Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Currie, Janet (2008). Healthy,Wealthy andWise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development. NBER Working Paper No. 13987Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Desai, Sonalde and Alva, Soumya (1998). Maternal Education and Child Health: Is There a Strong Causal Relationship? Demography, 35(1), pp. 71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lam, David and Duryea, Suzanne (1999). Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil. Journal of Human Resources, 34(1), pp. 160–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Maitra, Pushkar (2004). Parental Bargaining, Health Inputs and Child Mortality in India. Journal of Health Economics, 23, pp. 259–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Maitra, Pushkar, Peng, Xiujian and Zhuang, Yaer (2006). Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from China. Asian Economic Journal, 20(1), pp. 47–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Murray, Christopher J.L. and Chen, Lincoln C. (1992). Understanding Morbidity Change. Population and Development Review, 18(3), pp. 481–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Psacharopoulos, George (1988). Education and Development: A Review. World Bank Research Observer, 3(1), pp. 99–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sen, Amartya K. (2002). Health: Perception versus Observation. BritishMedical Journal, 324, pp. 860–861Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Thomas, Strauss and Henrique (1991). How Does Mothers Education Affect Child Height? Journal of Human Resources, 26(2), pp. 183–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudeshna Maitra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsYork UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations