Mother’s Relative Educational Status and Early Childhood Height-for-Age z Scores: A Decomposition of Change Over Time

Julia A. Behrman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores the association between changes in mother’s relative educational status and changes in early childhood nutrition focusing on the case of Malawi and the sizable improvements in early childhood height-for-age z scores (HAZ) that occurred between 2000 and 2015. Using Demographic Health Survey data, the paper shows that there were changes in the composition of mothers with higher relative educational status in the population, and also changes in returns to mother’s higher relative educational status between 2000 and 2015. A Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition suggests that improved returns to mother’s higher relative educational status were associated with playing an important role in improvements in early childhood HAZ between 2000 and 2015, although compositional changes in mothers with higher relative education appear to be less important. Supplementary descriptive analyses suggest these results might have to do with changes in selection into non-hypergamous unions over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-173
Number of pages27
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Bargaining power
  • Families
  • Height-for-age
  • Schooling
  • Stunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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