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Causal Effects of Maternal Schooling on Child Immunization in India

Prabal De ()

A chapter in Human Capital and Health Behavior, 2017, vol. 25, pp 85-107 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract Child immunization is widely recognized as a cost-effective preventive medicine. Unfortunately, in India about 50% of the eligible children aged 12–23 months miss some essential vaccination. Though a positive association between maternal education and markers of child health like immunization has been long established, the literature has struggled to find a causal relationship, mainly because education is inextricably correlated with other socioeconomic variables like income. In this chapter, I propose a new instrument for women’s education in India using the following facts. First, due to lack of sanitary facilities in schools, particularly rural schools, large number of girls drop out of school once they reach puberty. Second, age at menarche is largely determined by biological factors and not social factors. Together, age at menarche can explain variations in schooling, yet be independent of outcome variables like child immunization. I find that additional years of maternal schooling (conditional on strictly positive years of schooling) do increase the probability of complete immunization of children.

Keywords: Schooling; immunization; child health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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