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Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Schady, Norbert

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Behrman, Jere R.

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Caridad Araujo, Maria

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Azuero, Rodrigo

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Bernal, Raquel

    () (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Bravo, David

    ()

  • López Bóo, Florencia

    () (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Macours, Karen

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Marshall, Daniela

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Paxson, Christina

    () (Princeton University)

  • Vakis, Renos

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries. To help with comparability, we use the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. We find important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where we can follow children over time, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. Our results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on our measure of cognitive development.

Suggested Citation

  • Schady, Norbert & Behrman, Jere R. & Caridad Araujo, Maria & Azuero, Rodrigo & Bernal, Raquel & Bravo, David & López Bóo, Florencia & Macours, Karen & Marshall, Daniela & Paxson, Christina & Vakis, Re, 2019. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 12107, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; cognitive development; gradients;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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