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Long-Term Consequences of Access to Well-Child Visits

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  • Bütikofer, Aline

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Loken, Katrine Vellesen

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

A growing literature documents the positive long-term effects of policy-induced improvements in early-life health and nutrition. However, there is still scarce evidence on early-life health programs targeting a large share of the population and the role of such programs in increasing intergenerational mobility. This paper uses the rollout of mother and child health care centers in Norway, which commenced in the 1930s, to study the long-term consequences of increasing access to well-child visits. These well-child visits included a physical examination and the provision of information about adequate infant nutrition. Our results indicate that access to mother and child health care centers had a positive effect on education and earnings: access in the first year of life increased the completed years of schooling by 0.15 years and earnings by two percent. The effects were stronger for children from a low socioeconomic background. In addition, we find that individuals suffer from fewer health risks at age 40 and positive effects on adult height, which support the fact that better nutrition within the first year of life is the likely mechanism behind our findings. While there is increasing knowledge on the benefits of various types of early childhood programs, the costs are often neglected, making it hard to compare different programs. We add to this by showing that investments in mother and child health care centers pass a simple cost-benefit analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Bütikofer, Aline & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2015. "Long-Term Consequences of Access to Well-Child Visits," IZA Discussion Papers 9546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9546
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    Cited by:

    1. Lazuka, Volha, 2017. "Infant health and later-life labour market outcomes : Evidence from the introduction of sulfa antibiotics in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 154, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    2. repec:eee:deveco:v:133:y:2018:i:c:p:415-433 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    well-child visits; early-life interventions; health and inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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