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Linking Early Childhood Nutrition And Health Problems To School Achievement: A Cross-Section Analysis Of Grade 4 Students In Sri Lanka

  • Wisniewski, Suzanne L.W.
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    This paper examines the separate impacts of early childhood nutrition and current health problems on academic achievement. Previous research has only considered either the impact of nutrition or specific health problems on academic achievement. This is the first paper to consider both measures of health in a comprehensive way. A unique cross-section dataset of grade 4 students in Sri Lanka allows one to creatively deal with endogeneity issues stemming from missing variable bias. Specifically, controlling for school heterogeneity and parental taste for education the results show that children affected by hearing problems, intestinal worms and early childhood malnutrition have significantly lower cognitive skills. These results are robust to conditioning on the rate of student absence from school. The policy implications are that returns to investments made to improving school quality will be limited by any lack in investment in improving early childhood nutrition and health problems faced by children in school years.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/20362
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    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO with number 20362.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:20362
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    1. 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.
    2. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & Victor Lavy & Rekha Menon, 2001. "Child Health and School Enrollment: A Longitudinal Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 185-205.
    3. Glewwe, Paul, et al, 1995. "An Eclectic Approach to Estimating the Determinants of Achievement in Jamaican Primary Education," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 231-58, May.
    4. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
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