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Theses

Capital humain au Bangladesh

Abstract : Achieving and maintaining optimal child health is a challenge for parents, nutritionists, and public health specialists who care about the well-being of future generation. Understanding the factors underlying child health and nutritional status is thus crucial to help to alleviate malnutrition. Two standard indicators of physical growth describe the assessment of nutritional status: height-for-age and weight-for- height.
Even though it seems obvious that a child will be stunted or underweight if he or she does not have enough food, the causes are much more complex and interrelated than that. What are these causes, which of these determinants are amenable to policy interventions and which are the most effective channels for influencing health and nutrition outcomes? The overall objective of the first part of my research is to answer those questions using the national representative dataset “Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2000” for the empirical investigation.
The next two chapters form the core and the second part of the thesis. They attempt to study the impact of child's nutritional status on his/her participation at school, Progress at school, optimal schooling level and on a particular widespread phenomenon in developing countries and mainly in Bangladesh: delayed enrolment. There have been several studies in the literature that tried to examine the relationship between child health/ nutrition and his/her schooling performance. However, the conclusions remain mitigated and ambiguous.
We improve on past studies in a number of ways mainly by incorporating into our analysis the endogenous nature of child health and by correcting for the problem of censoring variables. Using the Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey conducted in Bangladesh (1996), my results strongly suggest that early childhood malnutrition reduces: the probability to be enrolled, the optimal grades attained and is the cause of delayed enrolment. It is estimates that the cost of a three years average delayed enrolment is about 23% of the individual lifetime wealth.
As the early nutritional deficiencies may not be the only explanation to the poor educational performances in rural Bangladesh that is why I have also looked at the role of the supply school constraints. Using the same set of data, the last part of my thesis shows that the cost of advanced levels of education influence schooling decisions at the primary level. Supply constraints such as high travel costs or long distance to reach the school, represent real obstacles for primary education and lower the level of schooling attained. In other words the decision to attend the present grade is affected by the costs (both direct and opportunity costs) of all schooling levels. The assumption of constant costs throughout the schooling cycle is inconsistent. Bangladeshi households have to come with increasing enrolment fees moving from 17 taka in average in the primary level up to 450 taka per child, in some communities. Difficult access to school mainly because of far distance, high travel cost and the absence of public means of transportation in many villages represent real constraints that could explain why so many children do not attend school in many developing countries or do not go beyond the primary level. Improving these factors should be a relevant action for policy makers in the context of resources' constrained households to increase educational attainment and attendance.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 17, 2007 - 3:41:39 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 11:18:13 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00198571, version 1

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Hayfa Grira. Capital humain au Bangladesh. Economies et finances. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2006. Français. ⟨tel-00198571⟩

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