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The effect of education on under-five mortality: Individual and community-level effects in Bangladesh

  • Authors: busetta annalisa; chiara puglisi
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • Key words: Contextual effect; Multilevel model; Parental education; Under-five mortality;
  • OA Link:


This paper investigates the relationship between parental education and child survival, considering both the influence of the maternal and paternal educational level and the influence of community-level male and female education on under-five mortality. The research is focused on Bangladesh, a country where the impressive decline in the under-five mortality rate between 1990 and 2015 was attributed both to female empowerment and to the increase in the general level of education in the country. Using the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey from 2014, this paper investigates both the effect of individual-level parental education and of community-level education on under-five mortality, through a multilevel logistic regression analysis. Our results confirm the importance of individual-level education, with a stronger effect of the educational level of mothers compared to that of fathers. This last result disappears once we control for educational assortative mating. At the contextual level, the average level of female education in the community only slightly influences under-five survival, whereas male schooling does not at all impact the chances of survival of a child aged under five.