Female education as a path to family health-is it a panacea? evidence from Turkısh health surveys

Ahsen, Ayşenur
The compulsory schooling reform introduced in 1997 had a substantial effect on the middle school graduations of women. By taking advantage of this natural experiment, we aim at investigating the impacts of women education on health-related decisions and health outcomes for themselves and their children. After confirming the validity of the reform effect, we used an instrumental variable approach following the fuzzy regression design. Results reveal that middle school education contributes to the possibility of using contraceptive methods and has a significant impact on the timing and frequency of antenatal care demand. We also observed modifications in healthcare preference over institutions caused by middle school education. Evidence suggests a shift from private to public preference over institutions for antenatal care and delivery and an adverse education effect on acknowledging their family physician as a primary health service provider. Together with the improvements observed in the likelihood of being in a healthy BMI range for women, we find that middle school education of mothers reduces the probability of born with low birth weight and supports higher anthropometric measures for children. Based on these results, it is concluded that the impact of middle school education can be identified on the various dimensions of decision-making for women in the different spheres of health, with specific importance given to the consequences of child health of these decisions. We have also checked for the exogenous effect of father education, and results suggest that the parental education effect on children found may not be gender-neutral.
Citation Formats
A. Ahsen, “Female education as a path to family health-is it a panacea? evidence from Turkısh health surveys,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.