Worms: Education and Health Externalities in Kenya

64 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2001 Last revised: 24 Oct 2010

See all articles by Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Center for Global Development; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

Intestinal helminths - including hookworm, roundworm, schistosomiasis, and whipworm - infect more than one-quarter of the world's population. A randomized evaluation of a project in Kenya suggests that school-based mass treatment with deworming drugs reduced school absenteeism in treatment schools by one quarter; gains are especially large among the youngest children. Deworming is found to be cheaper than alternative ways of boosting school participation. By reducing disease transmission, deworming creates substantial externality health and school participation benefits among untreated children in the treatment schools and among children in neighboring schools. These externalities are large enough to justify fully subsidizing treatment. We do not find evidence that deworming improves academic test scores. Existing experimental studies, in which treatment is randomized among individuals in the same school, find small and insignificant deworming treatment effects on education; however, these studies underestimate true treatment effects if deworming creates positive externalities for the control group and reduces treatment group attrition.

Suggested Citation

Miguel, Edward and Kremer, Michael R., Worms: Education and Health Externalities in Kenya (September 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8481. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=284053

Edward Miguel (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Michael R. Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Rm. 207
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
78
Abstract Views
2,535
rank
321,632
PlumX Metrics