nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒09‒03
two papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Maternal Depression and Childhood Health Inequalities By Kristin Turney
  2. Environmental Goods Collection and Children’s Schooling: Evidence from Kenya By Wagura Ndiritu, Simon; Nyangena, Wilfred

  1. By: Kristin Turney (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: An increasing body of literature documents considerable disparities in the health and wellbeing of young children in the United States, though maternal depression is one important, yet often overlooked, determinant of children's health. In this paper, I find that maternal depression, particularly depression that is recurrent or chronic, puts children at risk of having unfavorable health when they are five years old. This finding persists despite accounting for a host of demographic characteristics of the mothers and children, as well as adjusting for a lagged indicator of children's health. Results suggest that socioeconomic status, as well as maternal health and health behaviors, account for a large portion of the association between maternal depression and children's health. There is also some evidence that maternal depression is more consequential for children born to unmarried mothers than children born to married mothers.
    Keywords: depression, children, mothers, mental health, children's health, maternal depression
    JEL: D19 D60 I00 J12 J13
    Date: 2010–07
  2. By: Wagura Ndiritu, Simon; Nyangena, Wilfred
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical study of schooling attendance and collection of environmental resources using cross-sectional data from the Kiambu District of Kenya. Because the decision to collect environmental resources and attend school is jointly determined, we used a bivariate probit method to model the decisions. In addition, we corrected for the possible endogeneity of resource collection work in the school attendance equation by using instrumental variable probit estimation. One of the key findings is that being involved in resource collection reduces the likelihood of a child attending school. The result supports the hypothesis of a negative relationship between children working to collect resources and the likelihood that they will attend school. The results further show that a child’s mother’s involvement in resource collection increases school attendance. In addition, there is no school attendance discrimination against girls, but they are overburdened by resource collection work. The study recommends immediate policy interventions focusing on the provision of public amenities, such as water and fuelwood.
    Keywords: environmental goods collection, firewood, water, children, schooling, Kenya
    JEL: O13 O15
    Date: 2010–08–23

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