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Title: Essays on child health in developing countries
Author: Rawlings, Samantha Benvinda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 5389
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis comprises four empirical essays on the economics of child health in developing countries. Chapter 1 investigates intergenerational persistence in health, its spatial variation, and trends, using micro-data on 2.24 million children born of 0.6 million mothers in 38 developing countries between 1970-2000. A standard deviation decrease in mother's height or BM! raises the risk of poor child health by between 5 and 10 percent. Disaggregra- tion shows significant continent variation; the relationship was strongest in Africa, where it strengthened over time. Chapter 2 investigates whether in- come, women's education or public health (infant immunization rates) affect intergenerational persistence. Improvements in these in the foetal and birth year weaken the relationship, and these gradients are steeper for shorter women. Chapter 3 studies the impact of exposure to a serious, unusual, and unforeseen malaria epidemic in Brazil in 1938-1940 on subsequent human capital attainment, exploiting cohort- and regional-heterogeneity in expo- sure to identify effects. I argue disease related mortality is likely to differ by gender and migrant status, and allow for differential effects for these groups. A model of (mortality) selection and scarring is used to frame results. Selec- tion dominates for non-migrants whilst migrants are less selected or scarred. Scarring effects are particularly evident for female migrants. Chapter 4 investigates whether child health determines work and schooling. Unob- served heterogeneity and simultaneity concerns are addressed by exploiting panel data from the Philippines, with a first-difference instrumental vari- ables estimator used. The change in health between age 11/12 and 14/15 is instrumented for by health and breastfeeding duration in the first two years of life. A change in boys height-for-age of one standard deviation raises the probability of work by 36 percentage points, weekly hours of work by 11 hours, and lowers probability of school attendance by 30 percentage points. Estimates for girls are statistically weaker and may be affected by lack of data on domestic work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available