Out of Africa: Human Capital Consequences of in Utero Conditions

63 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2016

See all articles by Victor Lavy

Victor Lavy

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Analia Schlosser

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Adi Shany

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of environmental conditions during pregnancy on later life outcomes using quasi-experimental variation created by the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in May 24th 1991. Children in utero prior to immigration faced dramatic differences in medical care technologies, prenatal conditions, and prenatal care at the move from Ethiopia to Israel. One of the major differences was adequacy of micronutrient supplements, particularly iodine, iron and folic acid. We find that children exposed in an earlier stage of the pregnancy to better environmental conditions in utero have two decades later higher educational attainment (lower repetition and dropout rates and higher Baccalaureate rate) and higher education quality (achieve a higher proficiency level in their Baccalaureate diploma). The average treatment effect we estimate is driven mainly by a strong effect on girls. We find however, no effect on birth weight or mortality for girls.

Suggested Citation

Lavy, Victor and Schlosser, Analia and Shany, Adi, Out of Africa: Human Capital Consequences of in Utero Conditions (January 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w21894. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2717305

Victor Lavy (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3245 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Analia Schlosser

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Adi Shany

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Jerusalem

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