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The consequences of early childhood growth failure over the life course:

  • Hoddinott, John
  • Maluccio, John
  • Behrman, Jere R.
  • Martorell, Reynaldo
  • Melgar, Paul
  • Quisumbing, Agnes R.
  • Ramirez-Zea, Manuel
  • Stein, Aryeh D.
  • Yount, Kathryn M.

This paper examines the impact over the life course of early childhood growth failure as measured by achieved height at 36 months. It uses data collected on individuals who participated in a nutritional supplementation trial between 1969 and 1977 in rural Guatemala and who were subsequently reinterviewed between 2002 and 2004. It finds that individuals who did not suffer growth failure in the first three years of life complete more schooling, score higher on tests of cognitive skill in adulthood, have better outcomes in the marriage market, earn higher wages and are more likely to be employed in higher-paying skilled labor and white-collar jobs, are less likely to live in poor households, and, for women, fewer pregnancies and smaller risk of miscarriages and stillbirths. Growth failure has adverse impacts on body size and several dimensions of physical fitness in adulthood but does not have marked effects on risk indicators of cardiovascular and related chronic diseases. These results provide a powerful rationale for investments that reduce early-life growth failure.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1073.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1073
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  1. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mark M. Pitt, 1997. "Estimating the Determinants of Child Health When Fertility and Mortality Are Selective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 129-158.
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  4. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  11. World Bank, 2003. "Poverty in Guatemala," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14862, The World Bank.
  12. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, 08.
  13. Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 195, Econometric Society.
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  16. 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, 04.
  17. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio & Reynaldo Martorell, 2009. "Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in a Poor Developing Country," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0907, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  18. Monica J. Grant & Jere R. Behrman, 2010. "Gender Gaps in Educational Attainment in Less Developed Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 71-89.
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