Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries

27 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Norbert Schady

Norbert Schady

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

Maria Caridad Araujo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Rodrigo Azuero

Inter-American Development Bank

Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

David Bravo

University of Chile

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford; IZA

Karen Macours

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Daniela Marshall

University of Pennsylvania

Christina H. Paxson

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Renos Vakis

World Bank Group, Kenya

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability 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, we use the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. We find important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where we can follow children over time, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. Our results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on our measure of cognitive development.

Keywords: cognitive development, poverty, gradients

JEL Classification: I24, I25

Suggested Citation

Schady, Norbert and Behrman, Jere and Araujo, Maria Caridad and Azuero, Rodrigo and Bernal, Raquel and Bravo, David and López Bóo, Florencia and Macours, Karen and Marshall, Daniela and Paxson, Christina H. and Vakis, Renos, Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries (January 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390095

Norbert Schady (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Maria Caridad Araujo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Rodrigo Azuero

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
2027018419 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rodrigoazuero.com

Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

David Bravo

University of Chile ( email )

Pío Nono Nº1, Providencia
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

Florencia López Bóo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Young Lives, Department of International Development, University of Oxford ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Karen Macours

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Daniela Marshall

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Christina H. Paxson

Princeton University ( email )

316 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-6474 (Phone)
609-258-5974 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Renos Vakis

World Bank Group, Kenya ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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