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Complementarities in the Production of Child Health

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Abramovsky

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Britta Augsburg

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Pamela Jervis

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Bansi Malde

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Angus Phimister

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper estimates ?exible child health production functions to investigate whether better water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices make nutrition intake more productive for children aged 6-24 months. Using cohort data, with detailed information on nutrition intake and WASH investments, and a control function approach to account for endogeneity of inputs, we show that better WASH increases the productivity of protein and calories in the formation of child health using as proxies child height and weight. We also uncover heterogeneity in the productivity of these inputs by child gender: nutritional intake is found to be more productive for boys, and WASH investments more productive for girls. Further analysis indicates that this is not driven by di?erential parental invest-ments by child gender. Although the study sample are children born in the early 1980s they faced similar nutritional and WASH conditions as those faced by children currently living in poor households in low-income settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Abramovsky & Britta Augsburg & Pamela Jervis & Bansi Malde & Angus Phimister, 2019. "Complementarities in the Production of Child Health," IFS Working Papers W19/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:19/15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elisabetta De Cao, 2015. "The Height Production Function from Birth to Age Two," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 329-363.
    2. Attanasio, Orazio & Cattan, Sarah & Fitzsimons, Emla & Meghir, Costas & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2015. "Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 8856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    8. Marcella Alsan & Claudia Goldin, 2019. "Watersheds in Child Mortality: The Role of Effective Water and Sewerage Infrastructure, 1880–1920," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(2), pages 586-638.
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    11. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 467-471, May.
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    1. Vincent Vandenberghe, 2020. "The Rather Limited Role Of Mental Ill Health In Driving Work Beyond 50," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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