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Handa, Sudhanshu (1999). Maternal Education and Child Height. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 47(2), 421-439.


The importance of maternal education in the production of child nutritional status is well established in the economics literature. What is still not completely understood is how the effect of maternal education is transmitted. Several studies have tried to identify the role of education in the production of child height by examining the interaction of education with household and community variables, by including variables that capture information processing and acquisition, and by considering family background and genetic endowment, but the evidence on the role of maternal education is still not conclusive. For example, J. Behrman and B. Wolfe find maternal education to be an insignificant determinant of child height after controlling for unobserved family background and genetic endowment via fixed effects and maternal childhood variables, while the evidence in J. Strauss suggests that in the Coˆte d’Ivoire unobserved heterogeneity related to the household but not the mother is an important determinant of child height. When parental height is used as a proxy for family background and genetic endowment, maternal education is sometimes significant and sometimes not.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economic Development and Cultural Change


Handa, Sudhanshu