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Family Background, Service Providers, and Early Childhood Development in the Philippines: Proxies and Interactions

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  • Ghuman, Sharon
  • Behrman, Jere R
  • Borja, Judith B
  • Gultiano, Socorro
  • King, Elizabeth M

Abstract

We examine the importance of family background for early childhood development (ECD) using data collected in 2001 from 3,556 children ages 0-36 months in three regions of the Philippines. We focus on four main research questions: (1) are associations of family background with ECD in part proxying for health and ECD-related programs; (2) are associations of family background with ECD biased due to omission of unobserved community characteristics that may be related to placement of health and ECD-related services; (3) are there important interactions between family background and health and ECD-related programs in their effect on ECD; and (4) are there important interactions among the components of family background? Physical assets and human assets have a number of important positive associations with ECD. These include the positive relations between physical assets and the anthropometrics and hemoglobin levels of children, as well as lower occurrence of worms. Each parent's schooling and height also have notable positive effects on these outcomes and the motor and language skills of children. The failure to account for community characteristics is related to often substantial bias in the estimated effect of family background on ECD. We do not find strong evidence that interactions are important.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghuman, Sharon & Behrman, Jere R & Borja, Judith B & Gultiano, Socorro & King, Elizabeth M, 2005. "Family Background, Service Providers, and Early Childhood Development in the Philippines: Proxies and Interactions," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 129-164, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2005:v:54:i:1:p:129-64
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/431258
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Deon Filmer & Kinnon Scott, 2012. "Assessing Asset Indices," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 359-392, February.
    3. Subha Mani, 2012. "Is there Complete, Partial, or No Recovery from Childhood Malnutrition? – Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(5), pages 691-715, October.
    4. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    5. Khemani, Stuti, 2015. "Buying votes versus supplying public services: Political incentives to under-invest in pro-poor policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 84-93.
    6. Behrman, Jere R., 2010. "Investment in Education Inputs and Incentives," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    7. Wehby, George L. & McCarthy, Ann Marie, 2013. "Economic gradients in early child neurodevelopment: A multi-country study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 86-95.

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