Maternal Education or Household Wealth: Which is the Best Predictor of Child Malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Jean-Christophe Fotso, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
This paper examines Demographic and Health Surveys data of 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the goal of comparing the effects of maternal education and household wealth on child malnutrition, and investigating the pathways between maternal schooling and household wealth as determinants of child undernutrition. Multilevel, multivariate logistic regression results show that household wealth tends to be more robust, and to have higher power in predicting child malnutrition, than maternal education. This finding therefore suggests that while education remains critical in improving child health, wealth-related factors such as improved water and sanitation are also at least as important.