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174185 Are daughters a better investment: Gender differences in the impact of children's education on the health of elderly parents in rural Bangladesh
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Evidence suggests that children are crucial sources of support for the elderly in developing countries. However, the mechanisms through which children impact their parents' old-age health remains relatively ambiguous. In this paper, the 60+ population (n=1733) from the Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey (MHSS) conducted in rural Bangladesh have been examined to assess the impact of quality of children (characterized by their level of education) on the health of elderly parents. Logit models have been used to test whether the level of education of the highest educated children affects the self-reported health of their parents, and if any gender differences exist. The major finding is that educated daughters seem to be strongly associated (OR = 3.06, CI: [1.78, 5.24]) with a significant improvement in the health of elderly mothers (but not fathers), even after controlling for a variety of socio-economic and individual factors. Surprisingly, educated sons, on the other hand, seem to have no such impact (OR = 0.92, CI: [0.52, 1.63]), apparently contradicting traditional beliefs about sons being the main sources of support for the elderly in patrilineal societies. This paper attempts to explain these findings through gender differences in filial roles, mobility and behavior patterns, and complex parent-child interactions.
Keywords: Elderly, Children
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Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been intimately involved in all aspects of this poster presentation including the writing and the analysis
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