Centre for International Education (CIE)

Access to education and child health

Funded by the BUPA Foundation, CIE undertook an 18 month project between January 2010 and July 2011 which focused on access to education and its potential to improve health outcomes.

Sustained and meaningful access to education is critical to long term improvements in productivity, the reduction of inter-generational cycles of poverty, uptake of preventative health care and reductions in inequality. Similarly, there is a reciprocal relationship between poor health and access to education, in particular on the long term damages of stunting, nutrition, childhood disease and parasites, among other health problems.

Taking into account this reciprocal relationship, this project investigated the impact of the differential access to education on health disparities in Ethiopia, the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, Peru and Vietnam.

Research objectives

1. To investigate the relationship between access to education and health outcomes among children.

2. To assess the extent to which differential access to education explains health disparities among children. In particular, to investigate the extent to which the observed differences in health outcomes among children are the result of differences in the characteristics of these children or differences in their lack of educational opportunities.

3. To gain insights into contextual factors that underlie structural inequalities in access to education and how these relate to health inequalities.

Data and methods

The data used was from the Young Lives Longitudinal Study.

Multivariate regression, propensity score matching and the Oaxaca decomposition were used as tools to infer whether differential access to education was responsible for health disparities, controlling for previous health status.


Ricardo Sabates
E:  R.Sabates@sussex.ac.uk

Project Administrator: Julie Farlie

Further support was provided by Professor Keith Lewin (Education) and Dr Barry Reilly (Economics)