Quality time: How parents' schooling affects child health through its interaction with childcare time in Bangladesh

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18 Scopus citations


A child health production function is presented with the key feature being an interaction term between a caregiver's schooling and their exposure time to the child. The production function is estimated using a 2SLS fixed effects model with lagged childcare time, resource allocation and child health as instruments for the first differences of these same endogenous variables. The 1978 Intrafamily Food Distribution and Feeding Practices Survey dataset from Bangladesh is used together with census data. The production function estimates indicate that part of the salutary effects of parental education on child health require that the child actually be exposed to the educated parent. Given the demographic makeup of the study sample and the assumption that age education and gender completely account for productivity, teenage brothers and fathers would have the highest marginal productivity for child health and mothers and grandmothers the least. If economic opportunity draws mothers away from childcare, the presence of other household members with higher schooling levels offers the potential for an improvement in the overall quality of childcare time. In the present study the households failed to set the marginal labour product of child health for each of the caregivers equal. Thus, the quality of childcare may not be the household's sole concern in determining time allocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-407
Number of pages25
JournalHealth economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Child health
  • Education
  • Health demand
  • Health production
  • Household allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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