Intergenerational Transmission of Capabilities: Mothers and Children in Sub-Saharan Africa c. 1990-2010

Omar Karlsson, Lund University
Martin Dribe, Lund University

Childhood conditions are important for adult capabilities (health and education). Child health and educational attainment are to some extent determined by capabilities of parents to insure adequate care and investments. Even in developed countries with low disease exposures and good health service there has been observed intergenerational transmission of health and socioeconomic status from parents to children through childhood conditions. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) transmission is expected to be greater due to poverty, lack of health care, harmful disease environment and vulnerable food security. Many mothers have not lived up to their genetic potentials in capabilities which may negatively influence children’s capabilities. In this paper intergenerational transmission of capabilities from mother to child in SSA will be studied. The focus will be on maternal capabilities determined by mother’s childhood conditions. The main results are that maternal health has an influence on child capabilities but education is an important pathway.

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Presented in Session 128: Health and Mortality in Developing Countries