The Impact of Parental Health Shocks on Child Schooling and Labor: Evidence from Thailand
This paper uses household panel data from the Thai Socio-Economic Surveys of 2012 and 2017 to examine the effects of parental health shocks on child education and labor. Three measures of parental health are analyzed: chronic illness, hospitalization, and self-reported health problem. The results show that illness of the parents decreases school enrollment and leads to fewer years of education completed. Additionally, it finds that paternal illness has a relatively more detrimental effect on children’s educational outcomes than maternal illness, especially for the educational attainment. Girls are less likely to have attended school if any parent self-reported having any health problems. Parents’ chronic illness increases the probability of entering the labor force for youths aged 15 and over; however, only maternal illness increases their time spent at work. Households having both parents hospitalized are most likely associated with the significant decrease in household income and education expenditures. The results suggest that targeted government support to low-income families affected by major illnesses of parents could help them to maintain their children in school.