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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Allen C. Goodman

Abstract

This study applies bivariate probit models to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data set to explore the effects of parental schooling on the physical and mental health of child and the underlying mechanism of the transmission of these beneficial effects. Using the perceived physical and mental health status of child as the outcome variable, the results indicate that the benefits of parental schooling increases with levels of parental schooling; mother’s schooling has greater impacts than father’s; and the impacts of parental schooling on physical health of child is slightly larger than on mental health. For instance, relative to having No Degree at all, mother’s having an HSD/GED (and College Degree) increases the probability that the reported physical health status of her child is Very Good/Excellent as opposed to Poor/Fair/Good by about 6.4% (and 10.6%) in terms of the total effects. Similar probabilities for father’s schooling are about 4.5% (and 7.4%) respectively. For mental health, these probabilities are about 5.6% and 8.8% for mother’s schooling, and 3.3% and 5.1% for father’s schooling respectively. The non-monetary effects of parental schooling are about four-fifths of these total effects and are much larger than the combined monetary effects of income and health insurance attributable to parental schooling. In case of the households with single mother, the beneficial effects of mother’s schooling are however marginally greater on mental health than on physical health. Beneficial effects of parental schooling can be observed across most of the subgroups with varying degree. For instance, the effects of parental schooling on child health are particularly highest for the Hispanic, followed by Black and White.

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