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Early Nutrition and Cognition in Peru

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  • Ingo Outes-Leon
  • Catherine Porter
  • Alan Sanchez

Abstract

This paper examines the causal link between early childhood nutrition and cognition, applying instrumental variables to sibling-differences for a sample of pre-school aged Peruvian children. Child-specific shocks in the form of food price changes and household shocks during the critical developmental period of a child are used as instruments. The analysis shows significant and positive returns to early childhood nutritional investments. An increase in the Height-for-Age z-score of one standard deviation—keeping other factors constant—translates into increases in the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) score of 17-21 percent of a standard deviation. The period of analysis includes the recent global food price crisis that also affected Peru between 2006 and 2008. This therefore is also a quantification of the nutritional and subsequent cognitive costs of food prices on the sample, which could be magnified in later years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4743.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4743

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Cited by:
  1. Florencia Lopez Boo & Maria E. Canon, 2012. "Richer but more unequal? nutrition and caste gaps," Working Papers 2012-051, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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