African Journal of Economic Policy

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Parental Literacy and Child Health Production in Cameroon

FM Baye, S Fambon


This study examined the empirical impact of parental education on child health. Using Cameroon household consumption survey data collected by the government statistics office in 2001 and a range of econometric methods, the existence of prominent spillover effects linking parental literacy to better child health (weight-given age) was empirically validated, while controlling for other correlates. The magnitudes of these influences varied by gender. Households headed by literate males appeared more instrumental in seeking useful health practices than those by their female counterparts. This finding was attributable to the observation that female heads are typically single parents while their male counterparts often work in synergy with their spouses when seeking healthcare technologies. Thus, public expenditures on adult literacy/training programmes could have important implications for reproductive health and additional labour market/training opportunities if a child was in good health.

Keywords: Parental Education, Child Health, Control Functions, Cameroon.

AJOL African Journals Online