Maternal Schooling and Child Health Revisited: Does Non-Formal Education Matter?

Niels-Hugo Blunch, World Bank Group

This paper examines the impact of maternal literacy and numeracy skills and schooling on the production of children’s health in Ghana. To allow for the possible endogeneity of maternal skills and schooling an IV-based estimation approach is pursued. In addition to the well-established finding of a positive impact of maternal formal schooling on child health input demand and child mortality I also find a substantial impact from adult literacy course participation and also some impact from literacy and numeracy skills. These results point towards the potentially important role of adult literacy programs in promoting child health through the acquisition of health knowledge by participants, something which has previously received little to no attention in the economics literature but has important policy implications.

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Presented in Session 143: Health and Education in Developing Countries