The Returns to Parental Health: Evidence from Indonesia

41 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Dara Lee Luca

Dara Lee Luca

Mathematica Policy Research

David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

This paper investigates the economic returns to parental health. To account for potential endogeneity between parental health and child outcomes, we leverage longitudinal microdata from Indonesia to estimate individual fixed effects models. Our results show that the economic returns to parental health are high. We show that maternal health not only significantly affects her children's health, but is also intrinsically linked to her spouse's labor market status and earnings. Paternal health appears to be more linked to child schooling outcomes, especially for girls. When both parents are in poor health, the negative effects on their children are compounded. Additionally, the consequences of poor parental health are enduring. Longer-run effects of poor parental health manifest in a lower likelihood of high school completion, fewer years of schooling, and poorer adult health.

Keywords: parental health, spousal health, child health, education, family economics

JEL Classification: I12, J130, J160

Suggested Citation

Luca, Dara Lee and Bloom, David E., The Returns to Parental Health: Evidence from Indonesia. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11987, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301747

Dara Lee Luca (Contact Author)

Mathematica Policy Research ( email )

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David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States
617-432-0654 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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