Understanding the Role of Parents in Reinforcing Inequalities Over the Life Course

Rakesh Banerjee
Farhan Majid, Rice University

There is no consensus on whether parents reinforce or compensate birth endowments. In this paper, we use multiple shocks- exposure to Ramadan and rainfall in utero- to study the broader relation between endowments and parental responses over the life course across multiple dimensions using data from Indonesia. We find parents make reinforcing investments in health and nutrition in early childhood but do not make further reinforcements in late childhood. We investigate the external validity of the results by using DHS data from 50 countries. We find parents reinforce initial inequalities in poorer countries relative to richer countries.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1