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Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions

Author

Listed:
  • Karen Macours

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

It is often assumed that early life circumstances, in particular before age two, are important for later human capital development. Using experimental variation in the timing of benefits from a conditional cash transfer program, we test the hypothesis that intervention starting in utero and continuing in the first two years is critical. At age ten, boys exposed to the program during this period had better cognitive, but not anthropometric, outcomes than those exposed in their second year of life or later. The lack of a differential effect on anthropometrics was due catch-up growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Macours, 2013. "Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00847026, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00847026
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.467
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00847026
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    2. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    4. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Heckman, James J. & Tremblay, Richard E., 2009. "Investing in early human development: Timing and economic efficiency," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-6, March.
    5. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    6. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Barham, Tania & Maluccio, John A., 2009. "Eradicating diseases: The effect of conditional cash transfers on vaccination coverage in rural Nicaragua," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 611-621, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Macours & Renos Vakis, 2017. "Sustaining Impacts When Transfers End: Women Leaders, Aspirations, and Investments in Children," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Porter, Catherine & Goyal, Radhika, 2016. "Social protection for all ages? Impacts of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program on child nutrition," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 92-99.
    3. Teresa Molina Millán & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    4. Dora L. Costa, 2015. "Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 503-570, September.
    5. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," NBER Working Papers 23017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Teresa Molina-Millan & Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio & Marco Stampini, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7891, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Emla Fitzsimons & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2013. "Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development," IFS Working Papers W13/31, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. M. Caridad Araujo & Mariano Bosch & Norbert Schady, 2017. "Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Inter-Generational Poverty Trap?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Asset Accumulation and Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hoyt Bleakley & Dora Costa & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Health, Education, and Income in the United States, 1820–2000," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 121-159 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Adrien Bouguen & Deon Filmer & Karen Macours & Sophie Naudeau, 2018. "Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(2), pages 474-512.
    11. Singh, Prakarsh & Masters, William A., 2016. "Behavior Change for Early Childhood Nutrition: Effectiveness of Health Worker Training Depends on Maternal Information in a Randomized Control Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 10375, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Denis Cogneau & Lionel Kesztenbaum, 2016. "Short and long-term impacts of famines: The case of the siege of Paris 1870-1871," Working Papers halshs-01321939, HAL.
    13. Teresa Molina Millan & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    14. Teresa Molina-Millan & Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio & Marco Stampini, 2016. "Long-term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: Review of the Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 96136, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. M. Caridad Araujo & Mariano Bosch & Norbert Schady, 2017. "Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Inter-Generational Poverty Trap?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Paredes-Torres, Tatiana, 2017. "The impact of exposure to cash transfers on education and labor market outcomes," MPRA Paper 79008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:40-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Adrien Bouguen & Deon Filmer & Karen Macours & Sophie Naudeau, 2014. "Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment," Working Papers hal-01090361, HAL.
    19. Bouguen, Adrien & Filmer, Deon & Macours, Karen & Naudeau, Sophie, 2014. "Preschools and early childhood development in a second best world: Evidence from a scaled-up experiment in Cambodia," CEPR Discussion Papers 10170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional cash transfer program;

    JEL classification:

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

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