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Child Marriage and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Ethiopia

Jorge Garcia Hombrados ()

Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School

Abstract: This study uses age discontinuities in the degree of exposure to a law that raised the legal age of marriage for women from 15 to 18 years in some regions of Ethiopia to provide the first evidence on (a) the beneficial effects on child marriage and infant mortality of laws that ban underage marriage and on (b) the causal effect of delaying women's age at cohabitation on infant mortality using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The results show that although the introduction of the law did not end child marriage among Ethiopian women, it had large effects on the incidence of child marriage and on the probability of infant mortality of the first born child. Besides, the results suggest that a one-year delay in women's age at cohabitation during teenage years decreases the incidence of infant mortality of the first born by 3.8 percentage points. The size of this effect is comparable to the joint impact on child mortality of measles, BCG, DPT, Polio and Maternal Tetanus vaccinations. This effect on infant mortality seems to be closely linked to the impact of delaying cohabitation on the age of women at first birth.

Keywords: child marriage; infant mortality; family economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 K0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hea and nep-law
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http://www.sussex.ac.uk/economics/documents/wps-13-2017.pdf (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Child Marriage and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Ethiopia (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sus:susewp:1317

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