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Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the PROGRESA Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Achyuta Adhvaryu
  • Anant Nyshadham
  • Teresa Molina
  • Jorge Tamayo

Abstract

Can investing in children who faced adverse events in early childhood help them catch up? We answer this question using two orthogonal sources of variation – resource availability at birth (local rainfall) and cash incentives for school enrollment – to identify the interaction between early endowments and investments in children. We find that adverse rainfall in the year of birth decreases grade attainment, post-secondary enrollment, and employment outcomes. But children whose families were randomized to receive conditional cash transfers experienced a much smaller decline: each additional year of program exposure during childhood mitigated more than 20 percent of early disadvantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham & Teresa Molina & Jorge Tamayo, 2018. "Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the PROGRESA Experiment," NBER Working Papers 24848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24848
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    2. Herrera Almanza, Catalina & Cas, Ava, 2017. "Resilience to Shocks during Adolescence and Later Human Capital Outcomes: Evidence from Natural Disasters in the Philippines," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 259129, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Rossin-Slater, Maya & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool? Long-Term Impacts and Interactions with a Health Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 10254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Jessica Leight & Elaine M. Liu, 2016. "Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-cognitive Characteristics in Rural China," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    5. Akresh, Richard & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Leone, Marinella & Osili, Una O., 2017. "First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War," IZA Discussion Papers 10938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Conti, Gabriella & Mason, Giacomo & Poupakis, Stavros, 2019. "Developmental Origins of Health Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12448, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Jessica Leight & Elaine M. Liu, 2016. "Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-Cognitive Skills in Rural China," NBER Working Papers 22233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson & Achyuta Adhvaryu & Parul Christian & Alain Labrique & Jonathan Sugimoto & Abu Ahmed Shamim & Keith P. West Jr, 2019. "Protecting Infants from Natural Disasters: The Case of Vitamin A Supplementation and a Tornado in Bangladesh," NBER Working Papers 25969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2016. "Interactions Between Family and School Environments: Evidence on Dynamic Complementarities?," NBER Working Papers 22112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gaitz, Jason & Schurer, Stefanie, 2017. "Bonus Skills: Examining the Effect of an Unconditional Cash Transfer on Child Human Capital Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 10525, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Barham, Tania & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John, 2018. "Experimental Evidence of Exposure to a Conditional Cash Transfer During Early Teenage Years: Young Women's Fertility and Labor Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 13165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention," NBER Working Papers 22700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Carrillo, B., 2018. "Fetal Exposure to Abnormal Rainfall Events and Later-Life Outcomes in Colombia," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277372, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Carrillo, B.;, 2019. "Early Rainfall Shocks and Later-Life Outcomes: Evidence from Colombia," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 19/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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