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The effect of parental education on child health: Quasi-experimental evidence from a reduction in the length of primary schooling in Egypt
Authors: Fatma Romeh M. Ali, and Mahmoud A. A. Elsayed
Source: Health Economics, 27(4); DOI:
Topic(s): Child health
Childhood mortality
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2017
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of parental education on child health using a reduction in the length of primary schooling in Egypt. We use a fuzzy regression discontinuity design to compare the health outcomes of children whose parents were exposed to different schooling requirements because they were born either side of a threshold date. Using data from the Demographic and Health Survey (1992–2014), we find no effect of maternal education on child mortality or nutritional status. There is some evidence, although not entirely robust, that father's education reduces the likelihood of child stunting. We find, however, that father's education has no impact on child mortality or other measures of nutritional status. We provide suggestive evidence that, given the low levels of parental education in Egypt accompanied with the inferior quality of primary schooling, education has little effect on intermediate outcomes—literacy and utilization of antenatal care—that may improve the health of offspring.