RECOUP Working Paper No. 30. Parental Education and Child Health – Understanding the Pathways of Impact in Pakistan
This study investigates the relationship between parental schooling on the one hand, and child health outcomes (height and weight) and parental health-seeking behaviour (immunisation status of children), on the other. While establishing a correlational link between parental schooling and child health is relatively straightforward, confirming a causal relationship is more complex. Using unique data from Pakistan, we aim to understand the mechanisms through which parental schooling promotes better child health and health-seeking behaviour. The following 'pathways' are investigated: educated parents' greater household income, exposure to media, literacy, labour market participation, health knowledge and the extent of maternal empowerment within the home. We find that while father's education is positively associated with the 'one-off' immunisation decision, mother's education is more critically associated with longer-term health outcomes in OLS equations. Instrumental variable (IV) estimates suggest that father's health knowledge is most positively associated with immunisation decisions while mother's health knowledge and her empowerment within the home are the channels through which her education impacts her child's height and weight respectively.
RECOUP Working Paper No. 30, Centre for Education and International Development, University of Cambridge, UK, 40 pp.