Essays Wealth Being Limited

Essays on Children's Well-being: Impacts of Policies and Approaches to Measurement

Hoolda Kim, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation explores socioeconomic issues related to children’s well-being in developing countries. The first essay examines the effect of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency on children’s health using the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. The distance from each village to the border of South Sudan is used as an instrument for identifying the intensity of the conflict. We find that each conflict event in a village lowers weight-for-age and weight-for-height z-scores for children born after the conflict. We further investigate possible heterogeneous conflict effect on child health in terms of gender, region, and maternal education. Low household assets, limited access to health care, and poor maternal nutrition appear to be channels through which the conflict inhibits the growth and development of children five years after the end of the conflict. ^ The second essay investigates associations between transitions in monetary and multidimensional poverty using the 2006 and 2009 Young Lives surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam. While the headcount ratio in both measures of poverty decreases over time, there is only a limited overlap between the groups in monetary and multidimensional poverty in either or both waves. Children remaining in monetary poverty are more likely to stay in multidimensional poverty. However, children escaping from monetary poverty do not always exit from multidimensional poverty. The results suggest the need to go beyond traditional monetary poverty indicators to understand and monitor poverty dynamics among children. ^ The third essay evaluates the impact of Health Care Fund for the Poor (HCFP) on healthcare utilization, health expenditure, and the health and education outcomes using the 2009 Vietnam Young Lives Survey. We find that HCFP beneficiaries are more likely to increase the use of inpatient and outpatient medical care compared to households with no health insurance while their health expenditure is not statistically different from each other in the young cohort. No effect of the program is found in the older cohort. The overall results suggest that the free health insurance program may improve healthcare utilization for households with young children.^

Subject Area

Economic theory

Recommended Citation

Kim, Hoolda, "Essays on Children's Well-being: Impacts of Policies and Approaches to Measurement" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10278195.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10278195

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Since July 31, 2017

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Who promotes child well -being? Essays on the importance of the household for child well -being

Solveig Argeseanu, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The three essays presented in this dissertation explore the importance of household composition for child well-being using data from a demographic surveillance site in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The first essay uses indicators of children's health at birth to determine whether the survival of the maternal grandmother and her presence in the household is associated with better perinatal outcomes. I find that a child whose maternal grandmother is alive throughout the gestation period is slightly larger at birth, but only if the grandmother is not resident. However, the mother's partnership status, another element of household composition, is strongly associated with birth weight. The second essay further explores how the marital and non-marital relationships of the parents might affect a child's chances of surviving through infancy and the first 7 years of life. I find that parental partnerships, including but not limited to marriage, are very important for child survival. Children of married mothers had half the hazard of dying faced by the children of unpartnered mothers. Furthermore, among children whose mothers were unmarried, those whose mothers were involved in regular non-marital partnerships had higher survival chances. In terms of cause-specific mortality, the children of married women were much less likely to die of any cause, including AIDS, than the children of unmarried mothers. The third essay turns to the importance of living arrangements for children's education, an indicator of child health and household investment in the child. I find that children who were members of the same household as their parents completed more schooling than children whose parents were absent or deceased. If the parent is not a member of the household, it makes little difference whether he or she is deceased or absent. Grandparents and other older adults in the household do not appear to improve education outcomes, nor mitigate the loss of a parent. Furthermore, other child household members are associated with slower educational progress of school-aged children. The three essays highlight the strong associations between parental relationships, children's access to mothers and fathers, and child well-being. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Demography

Recommended Citation

Argeseanu, Solveig, "Who promotes child well -being? Essays on the importance of the household for child well -being" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3246132.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3246132

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Since May 21, 2007

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