Effects of Maternal Education on Early Nonmonetary Investments in Child Development

Usta E. K.

JOURNAL OF HUMAN CAPITAL, vol.14, no.4, pp.535-583, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1086/711761
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, EconLit, PAIS International, Sociological abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.535-583
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This paper investigates the effects of education on the early investments of mothers in their young children exploiting a compulsory schooling reform in Turkey. I adopt a regression discontinuity design and document that education significantly improves mothers' prenatal health investments and some postnatal health behavior. However, there is no evidence on the effects of maternal education on breastfeeding duration or compliance with the universal vaccination program. I then show that education leads mothers to spend time with their children at home and outside. These findings suggest that increases in maternal education in a developing country have the potential to reduce inequalities at birth.