Child health in Peru: Importance of regional variation and community effects on children's height and weight

  • Shin H
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Abstract

In developing countries, height and weight are good indicators of children's health and nutritional status. Maternal education has been accepted as one of the most important influences on child health. Using the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey of Peru, however, I find that the effect of maternal education varies as a function of region. In the most prosperous urban region, maternal education is less important for child health than in poor rural areas, and a higher level of education has a greater effect in rural areas. Multilevel analysis shows that a significant part of the observed correlation between maternal education and child health is moderated by regional differences and community characteristics. The finding suggests that Peruvian public policy should emphasize resource redistribution as well as women's education, and that investment in maternal education should be considered within regional contexts to enhance child health in rural areas.

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Authors

  • Heeju Shin

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