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Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement

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  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Jocoby, Hanan
  • King, Elizabeth M.

Abstract

Early childhood nutrition is thought to be an important input into subsequent academic achievement. This paper investigates the nutrition-learning nexus using a unique longitudinal data set, which follows a large sample of Philippine children from birth until the end of their primary education. We find that malnourished children perform more poorly in school, even after correcting for the effects of unobserved heterogeneity both across and within households. Part of the advantage that well-nourished children enjoy arises from the fact that they enter school earlier and thus have more time to learn. The rest of their advantage appears to stem from greater learning productivity per year of schooling rather than from greater learning effort in the form of homework time, school attendance, and so forth. Despite these findings, our analysis suggests that the relationship between nutrition and learning is not likely to be of overriding importance either for nutrition policy or in accounting for economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 68.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:68

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Keywords: Gender ; households ; Human Nutrition. ; Malnutrition in children. ; Education; Primary Philippines. ; Philippines. ;

References

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  1. Behrman, Jere R, 1996. "The Impact of Health and Nutrition on Education," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 23-37, February.
  2. Fogel, Robert W., 1993. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," Nobel Prize in Economics documents, Nobel Prize Committee 1993-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  3. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 156-69, February.
  4. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glewwe, Paul, 1996. "The relevance of standard estimates of rates of return to schooling for education policy: A critical assessment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 267-290, December.
  6. Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 694, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
  8. Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-30, December.
  9. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  10. Gersovitz, Mark, 1983. "Savings and Nutrition at Low Incomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 841-55, October.
  11. Bouis, Howarth E. & Haddad, Lawrence J., 1992. "Are estimates of calorie-income fxelasticities too high? : A recalibration of the plausible range," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 333-364, October.
  12. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
  13. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  14. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
  15. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1986. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Inequality: Asymmetric Information within the Family," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 55-76, February.
  17. David M. Blau & David K. Guilkey & Barry M. Popkin, 1996. "Infant Health and the Labor Supply of Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 90-139.
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