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Poverty and Proximate Barriers to Learning: Vision Deficiencies, Vision Correction and Educational Outcomes in Rural Northwest China

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  • Hannum, Emily
  • Zhang, Yuping

Abstract

Uncorrected vision may present a significant barrier to educational mobility in poor communities in low and middle income countries. Focusing on the case of rural Northwest China, we analyze the Gansu Survey of Children and Families (2,000 children; 100 rural villages) and the Gansu Vision Intervention Project (a randomized trial; 19,185 students, 165 schools, two counties). Four main findings emerge: significant unmet need for vision correction; socioeconomic gradients in vision correction; somewhat greater vulnerability to vision problems among higher socioeconomic status and more academically engaged children; and significant favorable effects of vision correction on math and literacy performance and class failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannum, Emily & Zhang, Yuping, 2012. "Poverty and Proximate Barriers to Learning: Vision Deficiencies, Vision Correction and Educational Outcomes in Rural Northwest China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1921-1931.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:9:p:1921-1931
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.04.029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gomes-Neto, Joao Batista & Hanushek, Eric A. & Leite, Raimundo Helio & Frota-Bezzera, Roberto Claudio, 1997. "Health and schooling: Evidence and policy implications for developing countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 271-282, June.
    2. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    3. Huisman, Janine & Smits, Jeroen, 2009. "Effects of Household- and District-Level Factors on Primary School Enrollment in 30 Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 179-193, January.
    4. Hannum, Emily & Buchmann, Claudia, 2005. "Global Educational Expansion and Socio-Economic Development: An Assessment of Findings from the Social Sciences," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 333-354, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Glewwe, Paul & Park, Albert & Zhao, Meng, 2016. "A better vision for development: Eyeglasses and academic performance in rural primary schools in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 170-182.
    2. Robert Poppe, 2014. "Poor Eyesight and Educational Outcomes in Ethiopia," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 205-223, June.
    3. Glewwe, Paul & Park, Albert & Zhao, Meng, 2012. "Visualizing Development:Eyeglasses and Academic Performance in Rural Primary Schools in China," Working Papers 120032, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.

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