The relationship between extended kin resources and children’s healthcare utilization: An analysis of family concession networks in rural Mali
Emily Treleaven1
1University of Michigan

Extended kin serve as key sources of financial, social, and instrumental support. In impoverished settings, the ability to rely on extended kin for investments in healthcare and social capital and support may be particularly important in buffering children against poor health outcomes. Using detailed household survey data from rural Mali where related households are geographically grouped into extended family concessions, I examine how social and economic characteristics of extended kin residing in geographic proximity affect children’s healthcare utilization in a sample of 5,117 recently ill children under five. I find belonging to the same concession as a relatively wealthier household is associated with a lower likelihood of receiving any healthcare or care within 24 hours of illness onset, and has no effect on attending a qualified healthcare provider. I offer several interpretations of this surprising result; planned analyses will shed further light on potential mechanisms in this relationship.