Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Differences in Investments and Outcomes
AbstractWe exploit exogenous variation in the risk of waterborne disease created by implementation of a major water reform in Mexico in 1991 to investigate impacts of infant exposure on indicators of cognitive development and academic achievement in late childhood. We estimate that a one standard deviation reduction in childhood diarrhea mortality rates results in about a 0.1 standard deviation increase in test scores, but only for girls. We show that a reason for the gender differentiated impacts is that the water reform induces parents to make complementary investments in education that favor girls, consistent with their comparative advantage in skilled occupations. The results provide novel evidence of the potential for clean water provision to narrow test score gaps across countries and, within countries, across gender.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7833.
Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-12-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-12-29 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2013-12-29 (Health Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2013-12-29 (Neuroeconomics)
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