How does women's education influence infant survival? A structural equation model using aggregate data from 95 low- and middle-income countries

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that women's education increases infant survival with a magnitude that varies along methodological designs. Besides, the causal chain from women's education to infant survival has so far remained largely unknown. This cross-country study investigates the relationship between women's education and infant survival in 95 low- and middle-income countries using a comprehensive set of mediating and control variables. The article applies structural equation modelling on aggregate data, which were produced by the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. The independent variables are from 2000 to 2009, and the dependent variable, infant mortality, is from 2018. The models are adjusted for income level, population size and extreme epidemic or political instabilities. Structural equation modelling is an advantageous method to specify how women's education affects infant survival explicitly through the indirect influences of an enhanced child health provision and through an increased reproductive autonomy for women. Overall, women's education is an equally important variable with poverty alleviation and women's reproductive autonomy in explaining the cross-country variation in infant survival. The models, taking into account key child health policies, provide new evidence on how women's education is mediated to better infant survival in low- and middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102465
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Volume86
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Child health
  • Infant mortality
  • Poverty
  • Women's autonomy
  • Women's education

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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