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The Impact of Child Health and Nutrition on Education in Less Developed Countries

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  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Miguel, Edward A.

Abstract

Hundreds of millions of children in less developed countries suffer from poor health and nutrition. Children in most less developed countries also complete far fewer years of schooling, and learn less per year of schooling, than do children in developed countries. Recent research has shown that poor health and nutrition among children reduces their time in school and their learning during that time. This implies that programs or policies that increase children's health status could also improve their education outcomes. Given the importance of education for economic development, this link could be a key mechanism to improve the quality of life in less developed countries. Many researchers have attempted to estimate the impact of child health on education outcomes, but there are formidable obstacles to obtaining credible estimates. Data are often scarce, although much less scarce than in previous decades. Even more importantly, there are many possible sources of bias when attempting to estimate relationships between child health and education. This Chapter provides an overview of what has been learned thus far. Although significant progress has been made, much more research is still needed - especially in estimating the long term impact of child health status on living standards. The chapter first reviews some basic facts about child health and education in less developed countries. It then provides a framework for analyzing the impact of health and nutrition on education, describes estimation problems and potential solutions, and summarizes recent empirical evidence, including both non-experimental and experimental studies. It concludes with suggestions for future research directions.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:

  • T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 5, January.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Development Economics with number 5-56.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:devchp:5-56

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

    Related research

    Keywords: child health; child nutrition; education; human capital;

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    Cited by:
    1. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja, 2012. "Climate variability and child height in rural Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-73.
    2. Wei Huang & Xiaoyan Lei & Geert Ridder & John Strauss & Yaohui Zhao, 2013. "Health, Height, Height Shrinkage, and SES at Older Ages: Evidence from China," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 86-121, April.
    3. Yuyu Chen & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2010. "Does Health Insurance Coverage Lead to Better Health and Educational Outcomes? Evidence from Rural China," NBER Working Papers 16417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Wisniewski, Suzanne L.W., 2010. "Child Nutrition, Health Problems, and School Achievement in Sri Lanka," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 315-332, March.
    5. Maurer, Jürgen, 2010. "Height, education and later-life cognition in Latin America and the Caribbean," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 168-176, July.
    6. Schultz, T. Paul, 2010. "Population and Health Policies," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    7. World Bank, 2012. "The Welfare Effects of Extreme Weather Events : Insights from Three APEC Case Studies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13039, The World Bank.
    8. Subha Mani, 2008. "Is there Complete, Partial, or No Recovery from Childhood Malnutrition? Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-19, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    9. Santosh, Kumar, 2009. "Childhood Immunization, Mortality and Human Capital Accumulation: Micro-Evidence from India," MPRA Paper 27127, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Emmanuel Skoufias, 2012. "The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9384, October.
    11. de Brauw, Alan & Mu, Ren, 2011. "Migration and the overweight and underweight status of children in rural China," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 88-100, February.
    12. Leandro Carvalho, 2012. "Childhood Circumstances and the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 913-938, August.
    13. Ingo Outes-Leon & Catherine Porter & Alan Sanchez, 2011. "Early Nutrition and Cognition in Peru," Research Department Publications 4743, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "Why does the Great Chinese Famine affect the male and female survivors differently? Mortality selection versus son preference," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 92-105, January.
    15. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
    16. Grimard, Franque & Laszlo, Sonia & Lim, Wilfredo, 2010. "Health, aging and childhood socio-economic conditions in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 630-640, September.

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