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The socio-economic gradient of child development: cross-sectional evidence from children 6-42 months in Bogota

Author

Listed:
  • Marta Rubio Codina

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Orazio Attanasio

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Costas Meghir

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • Natalia Varela

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Sally Grantham-McGregor

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

We study the socio-economic gradient of child development on a representative sample of low- and middle-income children aged 6-42 months in Bogota, using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, a high quality test based on direct observation of the child’s abilities. We find a statistically significant difference between children in the 90th and 10th percentile of the wealth distribution in our sample of 0.33 standard deviations (SD) in cognition, 0.29 SD in receptive language and 0.38 SD in expressive language at 14 months. The socio-economic gap increases substantially with age to 1 SD (cognition), 0.80 SD (receptive language) and 0.69 SD (expressive language) by 42 months. While the gap persists after controlling for mediating factors such as parental and biomedical characteristics, the level of stimulation in the home, and the quality of the institutional care setting; its size is significantly reduced by variables related to the home environment – i.e. parental investments in care quantity and quality. These findings have important implications for the design of well-targeted, effective and timely interventions that promote early childhood development. This paper is also published as part of the Inter-American Development Bank Working Paper series No. IDB-WP-527.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Rubio Codina & Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Natalia Varela & Sally Grantham-McGregor, 2014. "The socio-economic gradient of child development: cross-sectional evidence from children 6-42 months in Bogota," IFS Working Papers W14/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:14/11
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 261-276.
    2. 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, pages 247-273.
    3. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. 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.
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    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orazio Attanasio & Sarah Cattan & Emla Fitzsimons & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio Codina, 2015. "Estimating the production function for human capital: results from a randomized controlled trial in Colombia," IFS Working Papers W15/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Costas Meghir & Orazio Attanasio & Sarah Cattan & Emla Fitzsimons & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2015. "Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Colombia," Working Papers 1046, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Emily Nix & Francesca Salvati, 2017. "Human Capital Growth and Poverty: Evidence from Ethiopia and Peru," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 234-259, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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