IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/9032.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Undernutrition and Psychosocial Competencies: Evidence from Four Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Dercon, Stefan
  • Sánchez, Alan

Abstract

Both cognitive and non-cognitive skills matter to understand a child's opportunities and outcomes in adulthood. However, it is unclear how non-cognitive skills are acquired and what the role played by household investments is in this process. Motivated by suggestions from the medical literature and by the recent literature on human skill formation, this paper uses longitudinal data from children growing up in developing countries to study the role of early nutritional history in shaping this type of skills. We link height-for-age at the age of 7 to 8 to a set of psychosocial competencies measured at the age of 11 to 12 that are known to be correlated with earnings during adulthood: self-efficacy, self-esteem and aspirations. We find that height-for-age predicts the three observed psychosocial measures. Auxiliary estimations suggest that the relationship found is unlikely to be mediated by the effect that undernutrition can have on academic performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Dercon, Stefan & Sánchez, Alan, 2012. "Undernutrition and Psychosocial Competencies: Evidence from Four Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 9032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9032
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    3. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
    4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    6. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    7. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    8. Cawley, John & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2008. "Obesity and skill attainment in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 388-397, December.
    9. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, April.
    10. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    11. Helmers, Christian & Patnam, Manasa, 2011. "The formation and evolution of childhood skill acquisition: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 252-266, July.
    12. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-829, October.
    13. 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 156-169, February.
    14. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; non-cognitive skills; psychosocial competencies; undernutrition;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9032. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.