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The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults

Author

Listed:
  • John A. Maluccio,

    () (Department of Economics, Middlebury College)

  • John Hoddinott

    () (Food Consumption and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute)

  • Jere R. Behrman

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Reynaldo Martorell

    () (Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University)

  • Agnes R. Quisumbing

    () (Food Consumption and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute)

  • Aryeh D. Stein

    () (Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University)

Abstract

Early childhood nutrition is thought to have important effects on education, broadly defined to include various forms of learning. We advance beyond previous literature on the effect of early childhood nutrition on education in developing countries by using unique longitudinal data begun during a nutritional experiment during early childhood with educational outcomes measured in adulthood. Estimating an intent-to-treat model capturing the effect of exposure to the intervention from birth to 36 months, our results indicate significantly positive, and fairly substantial, effects of the randomized nutrition intervention a quarter century after it ended: increased grade attainment by women (1.2 grades) via increased likelihood of completing primary school and some secondary school; speedier grade progression by women; a one-quarter SD increase in a test of reading comprehension with positive effects found for both women and men; and a one-quarter SD increase on nonverbal cognitive tests scores. There is little evidence of heterogeneous impacts with the exception being that exposure to the intervention had a larger effect on grade attainment and reading comprehension scores for females in wealthier households. The findings are robust to an array of alternative estimators of the standard errors and controls for sample attrition.

Suggested Citation

  • John A. Maluccio, & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2003. "The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:06-026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio & Reynaldo Martorell, 2009. "Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in a Poor Developing Country," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0907, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Marcos Vera-Hernández & Aida Galiano Martínez, 2008. "Health shocks, household consumption, and child nutrition," Working Papers. Serie EC 2008-14, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. Viviane Azevedo & César P. Bouillon, 2009. "Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1656, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Liu, Yanyan, 2011. "Girls take over: Long-term impacts of an early stage education intervention in the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 1144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2010. "Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 857-869, June.
    6. Sanchez, Alan, 2010. "Transitory shocks and long-term human capital accumulation: the impact of conflict on physical health in Peru," Working Papers 2010-020, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    7. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012. "From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
    8. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4701, The World Bank.
    9. Abdoulaye Diagne & Mouhamadou Moustapha Lô & Ousmane Sokhna & Fatoumata L. Diallo, 2013. "Evaluation of the Impact of School Canteen Programs on Internal Efficiency of Schools, Cognitive Acquisitions and Learning Capacities of Students in Rural Primary Schools in Senegal," Working Papers PIERI 2013-14, PEP-PIERI.
    10. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2012. "Education and Health: Insights from International Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 17738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio, & Erica Soler-Hampejsek & Emily L. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Manuel Ramirez-Zea & Aryeh D. Stein, 2006. "What Determines Adult Cognitive Skills? Impacts of Pre-Schooling, Schooling and Post-Schooling Experiences in Guatemala," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-027, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    12. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Ramadan, fasting and educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 219-226.
    13. Ingo Outes-Leon & Catherine Porter & Alan Sánchez, 2011. "Early Nutrition and Cognition in Peru: A Within-Sibling Investigation," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3430, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
    15. Elisabetta De Cao, 2010. "The Height Production Function from Birth to Early Adulthood," CEIS Research Paper 165, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2010.
    16. Afridi, Farzana, 2010. "Child welfare programs and child nutrition: Evidence from a mandated school meal program in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 152-165, July.
    17. Yusuke Kamiya, 2009. "Economic analysis on the socioeconomic determinants of child malnutrition in Lao PDR," OSIPP Discussion Paper 09E007, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    18. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; schooling; Guatemala; nutrition; economic development; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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