Early Childhood Human Capital Formation at Scale

47 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2021 Last revised: 7 Dec 2023

See all articles by Johannes Bos

Johannes Bos

American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Abu Shonchoy

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics

Saravana Ravindran

National University of Singapore (NUS), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Akib Khan

Uppsala University - Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 10, 2022

Abstract

Can governments leverage existing service-delivery platforms to scale early childhood development (ECD) intervention? We experimentally study a large-scale, light-touch home-visiting intervention --- providing materials and counseling --- integrated into Bangladesh's national nutrition program without extra financial incentives for service providers (SPs). We find SPs partially substitute away from nutritional to ECD counseling. Intent-to-treat estimates show positive impacts on child's cognition (0.17 SD), language (0.23 SD), and socio-emotional scores (0.12-0.14 SD). Wasting and underweight rates also decline. Improved maternal agency, complementary parental investments, and higher take-up of the pre-existing nutrition program are important mechanisms. We estimate a sizeable internal rate-of-return of 18.9%.

Keywords: Early childhood development, Human capital formation, Bangladesh

JEL Classification: J13, J24, I25, H11

Suggested Citation

Bos, Johannes and Shonchoy, Abu and Ravindran, Saravana and Khan, Akib, Early Childhood Human Capital Formation at Scale (December 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3906697 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3906697

Johannes Bos

American Institutes for Research (AIR) ( email )

Abu Shonchoy (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Economics ( email )

11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 3199
United States

Saravana Ravindran

National University of Singapore (NUS), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

Akib Khan

Uppsala University - Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

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