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Child schooling, child health and rainfall shocks: evidence from rural Vietnam

  • Thuan Q. Thai

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Evangelos M. Falaris
Registered author(s):

    We study the effect of early life conditions, proxied by rainfall shocks, on schooling and height in rural Vietnam. Our measure of rainfall shock is defined as deviations from the long-run average. Many Vietnamese rural dwellers engage in rain-fed crop production, mostly irrigated paddy rice. Sufficient annual rainfall could play an important role in the harvest and thus, the household income. Nutritional deficiencies resulting from the household's income shocks may have negative consequences on health. We find that a negative rainfall shock during gestation delays school entry and slows progress through school. In addition, a negative rainfall shock in the third year of life affects adversely both schooling and height. The effects differ by region in ways that reflect differing constraints on families that are shaped by regional economic heterogeneity. We predict that policies that help rural families smooth income shocks will result in increases in human capital and in substantial cumulative returns in productivity over the life course.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2011-011.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2011-011.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-011
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    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. Paul Glewwe & Nisha Agrawal & David Dollar, 2004. "Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15010.
    3. Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana, 2008. "Adult height and childhood disease," Working Papers 2008-25, FEDEA.
      • Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2008. "Adult height and childhood disease," Working Papers 1119, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    4. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    5. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
    6. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
    7. 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.
    8. Harold Alderman & Hans Hoogeveen & Mariacristina Rossi, 2009. "Preschool Nutrition and Subsequent Schooling Attainment: Longitudinal Evidence from Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 239-260, 01.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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