Will Child Development Improve with Women's Empowerment in a Developing Country with a Narrowing Gender Gap? Insights from Rural Vietnam
29 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2018 Last revised: 27 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 26, 2018
This study investigates the influence of women's autonomy in households on health and education of children in rural Vietnam. Data for empirical analysis is extracted from the Vietnam Access to Resources Household Survey during 2008--2014. In this study, information on women's empowerment is collected through twelve questions covering women's autonomy in various dimensions of household lives such as independent mobility, financial management, and child-related decisionmaking. Child development is characterized by six variables related to health and education. Results indicate that women with a higher level of autonomy are more likely to have healthier and more educated children in rural Vietnam. The effects are positively larger in women with a higher level of education or with an off-farm job. Women's empowerment is associated with a lower level of alcohol and tobacco consumption and with a higher level of food consumption, which is believed to improve children's nutrition in households. These results imply that improving maternal autonomy could have a positive impact on child development, and then contribute to economic development in the long term.
Keywords: Women, Empowerment, Child, Education, Health, VARHS, Vietnam
JEL Classification: D13, J13, J16, O15
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