Child mortality in India: Exploring the community-level effect of education
When assessing health benefits of increased education in developing countries, many researchers have been concerned about the omission of important determinants of education from the models. This study illustrates that one should also be concerned about the limitations of the individual-level perspective. According to a model based on NFHS II data, the average education among women (but not men) in the census enumeration area has a strong impact on child mortality, net of the mother’s own education. The relatively low child mortality associated with women’s autonomy explains some of this community education effect. In addition, it operates partly through health knowledge, reproductive behavior and more proximate determinants of mortality, such as the use of maternity and other preventive health services, the child’s nutrition, and the mother’s care for a sick child.
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