Main menu

Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty and Child Well - Being in Ethiopia: early Childhood Health, Nutrition and Cognitive Development


The primary objective of this paper is to trace the initial childhood poverty (wellbeing) trajectories in Ethiopia in the light of Intergenerational Transmission of poverty (IGT). Childhood poverty as part of the overall intergenerational poverty or wellbeing is assessed using the first life cycle covering the preschool period which covers children‘s age from conception to their fifth birthday and the second life cycle which covers children’s’ years of primary school. In the first cycle children‘s health and nutritional status is considered as a summary outcome variable to capture their wellbeing for the period. In order to identify the major factors which affect preschool child health and nutritional status in Ethiopia we have employed 2SLS Instrumental Variable regression using panel data obtained from the first two rounds of the Young Lives survey in 2002 and 2006. Our result shows that the summary outcome variable for preschool child health and nutritional status – Height for Age Z score (HAZ) is found to be significantly associated with educational level of the household head, housing quality index, consumer durables index, access to toilet facilities and electricity in the surrounding community, the number of male and female children aged 1 -5 years other than the index child, sex of the child, mothers education and fathers education. In the second life cycle stage children‘s wellbeing is captured by their cognitive development measured using PPVT RAW score. In order to obtain the major factors associated with children‘s educational attainment and thus their cognitive development we have employed IV estimation strategy. The Young Lives data for the same younger cohort children administered in the last round in 2010 is used for the analysis in this part. Accordingly, we find that variations in the children‘s cognitive ability in the beginning of the second life cycle stage is attributed to children‘s time allocation, paternal and care giver‘s educational status, household wealth, household composition and birth order. Finally, the link variable between the two life cycle stages (One period Lagged value of HAZ) is found to be weakly significant to determine subsequent educational attainment and thus children‘s cognitive development. Based on these results we suggest some policy implications such as adult education schemes for parents; infant nutritious food supply programs and school feeding programs; enacting a more modest child labor law and strengthening its enforcement; and infrastructural development especially power supply and sanitation facilities.

Corporate Author: 
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty (IGT), Life cycle Framework

Secondary Descriptor: 

Childhood Poverty, Cognitive Development, Positive Deviance

Geographic Descriptors: 
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2018
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2018-06-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
EEA Multi-purpose Building Conference Hall, Addis Ababa
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Thematic area: 
Microeconomics, Industry and Social Sector Related
Conference date: 
July 20 – 22, 2017