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Wealth gradients in early childhood cognitive development in five Latin American countries

Author

Listed:
  • Schady,, Norbert
  • Behrman, Jere
  • Araujo, Maria Caridad
  • Azuero,, Rodrigo
  • Bernal, Raquel
  • Bravo, David
  • Lopez-Boo, Florencia
  • Macours, Karen
  • Marshall, Daniela
  • Paxson, Christina
  • Vakis, Renos

Abstract

Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and noncognitive abilities 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, the paper uses the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. It finds important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where panel data to follow children over time exists, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. These results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on the measure of cognitive development.

Suggested Citation

  • Schady,, Norbert & Behrman, Jere & Araujo, Maria Caridad & Azuero,, Rodrigo & Bernal, Raquel & Bravo, David & Lopez-Boo, Florencia & Macours, Karen & Marshall, Daniela & Paxson, Christina & Vakis, Ren, 2014. "Wealth gradients in early childhood cognitive development in five Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6779, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6779
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Youth and Governance; Educational Sciences; Street Children; Primary Education; Population Policies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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