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Early childhood nutrition, schooling, and sibling inequality in a dynamic context: evidence from South Africa

  • Yamauchi, Futoshi

"This paper examines the effects of early childhood nutrition on schooling inputs and outcomes to assess the dynamic nature of human capital production, using panel data from South Africa. Height-for-age Z-score is used as a measure of health and nutritional status in early childhood. Based on a comparison of siblings, this analysis concludes that improving children's health significantly lowers the age when they start school, increases grade attainment, and decreases grade repetition in the early stage of schooling. However, this positive effect diminishes at later stages. The results also show that households allocate more of their resources (such as school fee expenditure) to healthy children at the early stage, although wealthier households may invest more in less well endowed children in an attempt to reduce sibling inequality. However, fewer resources are allocated to healthy children at later stages. By the time of transition from primary to secondary school, the healthy child can increase household income by seeking employment in the labor market. In other words, while health capital augments the efficiency of investment in schooling at the early stage, it may increase opportunity costs at the later stage, which may deter investment in schooling." Authors' Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 203.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:203
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  1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  2. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Estimating the Intrahousehold Incidence of Illness: Child Health and Gender-Inequality in the Allocation of Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(4), pages 969-80, November.
  3. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Estudillo, Jonna P. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "Land and schooling," Food policy statements 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Haddad, Lawrence James & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?," FCND briefs 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
  7. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1986. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Inequality: Asymmetric Information within the Family," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 55-76, February.
  8. Schady, Norbert R., 2001. "Convexity and sheepskin effects in the human capital earnings function : recent evidence for Filipino men," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2566, The World Bank.
  9. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
  10. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2005. "Why Do Schooling Returns Differ? Screening, Private Schools, and Labor Markets in the Philippines and Thailand," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 959-81, July.
  11. Foster, Andrew D, 1995. "Prices, Credit Markets and Child Growth in Low-Income Rural Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 551-70, May.
  12. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1999. "Social roles, human capital, and the intrahousehold division of labor," FCND discussion papers 73, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Haddad, Lawrence J & Bouis, Howarth E, 1991. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 45-68, February.
  14. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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