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Intra-Household Bargaining and Child Health Outcomes: Do Domestic Violence Laws Matter?

Nuhu, Ahmed Salim (2015): Intra-Household Bargaining and Child Health Outcomes: Do Domestic Violence Laws Matter?

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Abstract

In this paper, we explore a unique exogenous instrument to examine how the intra-familial position of women influence health outcomes of their children using micro data from Ghana. Using the 2SLS-IV estimation technique,we build a model of household bargaining and child health development with perceptions of women regarding wife-beating and marital rape in the existence of domestic violence laws, in Ghana. Even though the initial OLS estimates suggest that women’s participation in decisions regarding purchases of household consumption goods help to improve child health outcomes, the IV estimates reveal that the presence of endogeneity underestimates the impact of women’s bargaining power on child health outcomes. Our test for endogeneity also confirms that child-health investment decisions is mediated through domestic violence laws, which protect women from physical and sexual abuse in the household. Our instrument is also robust to rural residency and father characteristics controls.

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