Is Consanguinity an Impediment to Improving Human Development Outcomes?

27 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017

See all articles by Cem Mete

Cem Mete

World Bank - Human Development Sector

Laurent Bossavie

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO)

John Giles

World Bank; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Harold Alderman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: May 24, 2017

Abstract

This paper uses unique data collected in rural Pakistan to assess the extent to which consanguinity, which is widespread in North Africa, Central and West Asia, and most parts of South Asia, is linked to child cognitive ability and nutritional status. As economic benefits of marrying cousins may lead to upward bias in estimates of the effects of consanguinity on child outcomes, prior work likely underestimates the negative impacts of consanguinity on child outcomes. This paper finds that children born into consanguineous marriages have lower test scores, lower height-for-age, and a higher likelihood of being severely stunted. After controlling for current household wealth and parent education, the effects of endogenous consanguinity on child cognitive ability and height-for-age are identified by (current and past) grandfather land ownership and maternal grandparent mortality as instruments for consanguineous marriage of parents.

Keywords: Anthropology, Gender and Social Development, Nutrition

Suggested Citation

Mete, Cem and Bossavie, Laurent and Giles, John and Alderman, Harold, Is Consanguinity an Impediment to Improving Human Development Outcomes? (May 24, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8074, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985499

Cem Mete (Contact Author)

World Bank - Human Development Sector ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-2810 (Phone)
202-477-3387 (Fax)

Laurent Bossavie

European University Institute - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

Villa San Paolo
Via della Piazzuola 43
50133 Florence
Italy

John Giles

World Bank ( email )

Washington DC
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Harold Alderman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
451
PlumX Metrics