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Maternal education and child health outcomes in South Africa: A panel data analysis

Abieyuwa Ohonba, Nicholas Ngepah () and Beatrice Desiree Simo-Kengne

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 1, 33-49

Abstract: This study empirically assesses the relationship between mothers’ education and child health using continuous and binary proxies of child health outcomes. A panel, using four waves of the National Income Dynamic Study and a battery of estimation techniques, was employed. The results suggest that maternal education plays a large and significant role in explaining child health outcomes in South Africa. Our results also suggest that maternal education is relevant in respect to stunted growth (stunting). However, the effects of maternal education vary along races, implying levels of inequality. The effects are stronger in the black and coloured populations, possibly due to educational deficits. This suggests a need in improving the educational opportunities for these groups. We suggest that maternal education can significantly contribute to reducing the high degree of inequality in South Africa.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1456908

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