How Does Parental Education Affect Infant Health?

Maki Ueyama, Cornell University
Kosali I. Simon, Cornell University

It is often asserted that the more education a woman has, the healthier will be her children. Establishing whether education causes a parent to invest more in the health of her child is complicated by difficult statistical problems. These mostly revolve around the hypothesis that unobserved factors cause a parent to invest in both her child’s health and her own education. Following Currie and Moretti (2003), we use instrumental variable methods to consider education decisions at the high school/college margin and extend the investigation to include education decisions about high school completion. To date, no study has used nationally representative data to examine whether and how parental high school completion affects infant health. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and a unique set of state educational policy instruments. We also explore mechanisms through which education might cause a woman to invest differently in her child’s health.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3