The Impact of Mother s Education on Child Health and

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1 Introduction,a Research problem, Health and nutrition have both intrinsic value and economic returns Therefore many. countries have taken actions to promote both child health and nutrition with varying degrees. of success More specifically many countries have implemented health programs and projects. vaccination campaigns building of hospitals construction of sanitation facilities etc with. mixed results These mixed results are reflected in high rates of malnutrition in many. developing countries De Onis et al 2000 estimated that the prevalence rate of stunting low. height for age in developing countries preschool children was 33 in 2000 This rate masks. regional disparities The same authors estimated that the prevalence rates of stunting for. Africa Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were 35 34 and 13 respectively. Prevalence rates between 30 and 39 are considered high. The focus of this paper is on child health outcomes in poor countries There is a strong. link between child health and child nutrition malnourished children are more likely to. develop illnesses that can have long lasting effects throughout their lives Unfortunately. many children in developing countries are malnourished Malnutrition is defined as. inadequate intake of calories and nutrients which can lead to illnesses that might cause death. in the extreme case Chen et al 1980 Three commonly used anthropometric indicators of. nutritional status are weight for height wasting height for age stunting and weight for age. underweight In Burkina Faso the geographical focus of this research the prevalence rate. for stunting was 39 in 2003 Institut National de la Statistique et de la D mographie 2004. Inadequate nutrition has consequences for the child and for the society in which the. child lives Proper nutrition during the first two years of life is crucial for child health. physical growth and mental development Poor nutrition for young children can lead to poor. schooling outcomes adversely affecting productivity later in life which results in low. economic growth Glewwe and Miguel 2008 There are also several costs of illnesses related. to malnutrition including physical suffering time costs for both parents and children and. monetary costs Parents will have to pay for healthcare and will also lose income by having to. stay home and care for their sick children Sick and malnourished children cannot develop. properly and thus will not be able to learn as well as healthy children In the long term these. individuals would also lose income as adults due to reduced learning. Staying home to care for a sick child implies that parents will lose hours of work The. higher the number of parents who will have to miss work to care for sick children the less. production will take place in the economy This might adversely affect economic growth. Children s nutritional status therefore not only reflects a country s level of development but. also determines it in the long run de Onis et al 2000 For developing countries more. research on child health and nutrition outcomes is needed to improve our understanding of the. determinants of these outcomes This would facilitate the design of better policies that. contribute to enhancing child health and nutrition outcomes in the short run improve. education outcomes in the medium run and labor market outcomes in the long run In the. very long run this chain of events should lead to higher rates of sustained economic growth. Children especially at young ages depend on their parents for nutrition and mothers. play a crucial role in children s nutrition Therefore mothers have a potentially great. influence on children s health outcomes The theoretical justification of the relationship. between education and health goes back to Grossman s 1972 model of the demand for good. health His model predicts that if education increases the efficiency of gross investments in. health then more educated people would choose a higher optimal stock of health This means. that education positively affects health, In most families mothers spend more time than fathers taking care of children that is. mothers play a more important role in decisions about child health and nutrition This. suggests that it is likely that mothers education would matter more than fathers education. after controlling for income this is the rationale behind treating mothers education as. endogenous but not fathers Therefore more educated mothers should have healthier better. nourished children, A major problem in estimating the effect of maternal education on child health is that. unobserved factors may affect maternal education and child health simultaneously This. problem which may be called the endogeneity problem means that the estimates of the effect. of maternal education on child health may be biased Most studies on the relationship between. maternal education and child health have attempted to use instrumental variables variables. that are correlated with maternal education but are not correlated with unobserved factors that. have a direct impact on child health status to remove the bias caused by the endogeneity. problem Because it is very difficult to find instrumental variables that clearly satisfy these. requirements instrumental variables do not guarantee a solution to the endogeneity problem. b Objectives, This paper will examine how a sudden change in education policy in Burkina Faso can be. used to construct good instrumental variables which in turn can be used to consistently. estimate the effect of maternal education on child health More specifically this research will. attempt to, i Verify whether a strong causal relationship exists.
ii Understand the channels through which mother s education affects children s health. iii Investigate whether threshold effects exists that is whether specific years or levels of. mother s education have unusually large impacts on children s health. The quality of education could also matter in maternal education and child health. relationship However given the nature of the data available for this study it will not be. possible to address this issue,c Background on Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is located in the semi arid Sahel region of West Africa This landlocked. country s area is 274 000 km2 and its population was estimated at 15 2 million in 2008 World. Bank 2009 The GNI per capita was US 480 in 2008, The formal education system in Burkina Faso consists of 3 main levels basic. education primary school 6 years secondary education 7 years and higher education In. general Burkina Faso s education system is characterized by low enrolment rates1 Data from. the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO show that. the gross enrolment rates in Burkina Faso were 73 18 and 3 in 2008 for primary. secondary and higher education respectively The net enrolment rates for primary and. secondary education were 60 and 14 in 2008 respectively These low enrolment rates are. due to a combination of the following factors low parental income 81 2 of the population. live on less than 2 per day UNDP 2009 parents negative beliefs about school school. would make children less obedient to parents school does not really pay off well or soon. enough etc and a supply problem lack of schools in certain areas Regarding low income. note that for public schools parents pay about 2000 FCFA 4 per year for primary school. fees and 15 000 to 25 000 FCFA 35 to 50 per year for secondary school fees and this. does not include books and other school materials, Gender disparities in school enrolment and school outcomes have long existed in Burkina. Faso Yet the discrepancies are getting smaller The parity index female enrolment as. proportion of male enrolment increased from 0 68 in 2002 to 0 82 in 2005 for primary school. enrolment and for secondary school enrolment it rose from 0 68 in 2001 to 0 70 in 2007. Minist re de l Enseignement de Base et de l Alphab tisation MEBA 2006 and Minist re des. Enseignements Secondaire Sup rieur et de la Recherche Scientifique MESSRS 2008 Yet. given that females account for 52 of the country s population there is still much to do to. reduce the gender gap in the primary and secondary school gross enrolment rates Given the. data available for this study the focus will be on primary education. d Education Reform in Burkina Faso, Recognizing the gender disparity problem the government of Burkina Faso decided in. 1994 to take action With the support of the United Nations Children s Fund UNICEF the. The primary gross enrolment rate is defined as the total number of pupils enrolled in primary school regardless of. age divided by the population in the theoretical age group for primary education The net enrolment rate is defined. as the total number of pupils in the theoretical age group for primary education who are enrolled in primary. education divided by the total population in that age group The net enrolment rate is useful because it focuses on. pupils in the appropriate age range, government implemented a project called African Girls Education Initiative AGEI One of.
the components of this project is the coles satellites ESs 3 year primary schools built in. the most remote areas of the country where there are no regular primary schools 6 year. schools After three years in an cole satellite children should go to the nearest regular. primary school to complete their primary education or the ES will be upgraded to a regular. school A 50 quota for girls enrolment in the ESs was announced as a requirement of the. program but it is not enforced, This project was implemented in two phases The first was an experimental phase. from 1995 to 1997 during which 30 ESs were built in 10 provinces An expansion phase. followed Nineteen provinces out of 45 were chosen based on their low school enrolment. rates and the availability of Non Governmental Organizations NGOs that could give support. to the project and to education in general In 2000 there were 204 ESs dispersed among 19. provinces Tankono 2000 In the year 2000 the ESs represented about 17 of the total. number of schools in these 19 provinces 1 191 schools and about 5 of the 4 339 primary. schools in Burkina Faso 2 The ESs target children between 7 and 9 years old who have not yet. been enrolled in primary school On average there are 40 children per class The children are. taught in their local language and in French Since 1998 most of the ESs have been upgraded. to six class schools3 or regular schools Tankono 2000 In the school year 2007 2008 there. was a total of 308 ESs in Burkina Faso, Two evaluations of this project have already been conducted a joint evaluation by. MEBA UNICEF World Bank in 1998 MEBA is the ministry of basic education and a joint. evaluation by IRD Institut pour la Recherche et le D veloppement Burkina Faso and the. University of Ouagadougou in 1999 In general both evaluations deemed the results of the. reform to be satisfactory The ESs have contributed to increase the enrolment rates in the. provinces where they were built For instance between 1996 1997 and 2001 2002 the net. enrolment rates for girls increased from 1 1 to 12 6 in the Komondjari province Back. These percentages were computed based on the number of schools reported in the 2000 education statistics annual. Primary education lasts for six years in Burkina Faso. Coulibaly and Hickson 2003 For Yagha province primary school net enrolment rates for. girls increased from 3 4 to 14 7 for the same period In addition the evaluations showed. that there was strong participation from the people who live in the communities where ESs. were built In particular the people contributed to the construction of the schools The design. of curricula and creation of textbooks specific to the ESs was highlighted as an important. achievement of the project Furthermore tests scores in French and mathematics showed that. the ES pupils performed better than the pupils in regular schools Among the negative results. pointed out by the evaluators are insufficient or inappropriate training in teaching. methodology for the instructors delays in provision of school and teaching materials lack of. school lunch programs especially for children who live far away and complaints from. communities in which ESs have not been upgraded to 6 year schools. Data on primary school enrolment rates from provinces with the program confirm the. increase in girls enrolment rates boys enrolment rates also increased but do not seem to. show a reduction in the gender disparity Figures 1 and 2 show the enrolment rates in primary. school from 1989 to 1999 for five provinces with ESs and four without ESs provinces. respectively There is a sharp jump in the enrolment rates in the provinces with immediately. after the year the policies became effective 1995 1996 The enrolment rates for both boys. and girls increased gradually in the provinces without ESs but the graph shows no significant. jump after 1995 96 This suggests that the ES policy had an effect on girls schooling This. implies that it is possible to construct good instrumental variables variables indicating. whether mothers were affected by these reforms during their childhood that will be used to. identify the impact of mothers education on children s health. 2 Literature Review, a Theory on the Relationship between Education and Health. The relevant theories this work will draw upon have been developed by Becker 1965. Because it is very difficult to find instrumental variables that clearly satisfy the requirements of correlation with maternal education and non correlation to unobserved factors instrumental variables do not guarantee a solution to the endogeneity problem A way around this is the use of natural experiment as an identification strategy The results show that mother s education

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