Islamic Law and Investments in Children:Evidence from the Sharia Introduction in Nigeria

Alfano, Marco (2022) Islamic Law and Investments in Children:Evidence from the Sharia Introduction in Nigeria. Journal of Health Economics, 85. ISSN 0167-6296

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Islamic law lays down detailed rules regulating children’s upbringing. This study examines the effect of such rules on investments in children by analysing the introduction of Sharia law in northern Nigeria. Triple-differences estimates using temporal, geographical and religious variation together with large, representative survey data show decreases in infant mortality. Official government statistics further confirm improvements in survival. Findings also show that Sharia increased vaccination rates, duration of breastfeeding and prenatal health care. Evidence suggests that Sharia improved survival by specifying strict child protection laws and by formalising children’s duty to maintain their parents in old age or in sickness.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Health Economics
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Health Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Health Economics, 85, 102660, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2022.102660
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23 Aug 2022 11:10
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:43