A Shot at Economic Prosperity: Long-Term Effects of India’s Childhood Immunization Program on Earnings and Consumption Expenditure

75 Pages Posted: 26 May 2022

See all articles by Amit Summan

Amit Summan

Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy

Arindam Nandi

The Population Council; The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP)

David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 18, 2022

Abstract

Routine childhood vaccinations are among the most cost-effective interventions. In recent years, the broader benefits of vaccines, which include improved cognitive and schooling outcomes, have also been established. This paper evaluates the long-term economic benefits of India’s national program of childhood vaccinations, known as the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). We combine individual-level data from the 68th round of the National Sample Survey of India (2011–2012) with district-wise data on the rollout of UIP in 1985–1990. We employ age-district fixed effects regression models to compare the earnings and per capita household consumer spending of 21- to 26-year-old adults who were born in UIP-covered districts vis-à-vis non-UIP districts in 1985–1990. We find that exposure to UIP in infancy increases weekly wages by 13.8% (95% CI: 7.6% to 20.3%, p<0.01) and monthly per capita household consumption expenditure by 2.9% (95% CI: 0.7% to 5.0% , p<0.01). Program exposure also reduces the probability that an individual’s household relies on agriculture as the main source of income by 1.9% (95% CI: 0.0% to 3.5%, p<0.01). The findings are robust to several specifications, specifications, including varying study duration and accounting for potential migration. The effects vary by sex, location, and caste groups.

Keywords: India, child immunization, health, wages

JEL Classification: I15, I18, J31, J38

Suggested Citation

Summan, Amit and Nandi, Arindam and Bloom, David E., A Shot at Economic Prosperity: Long-Term Effects of India’s Childhood Immunization Program on Earnings and Consumption Expenditure (May 18, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4113444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4113444

Amit Summan

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Arindam Nandi (Contact Author)

The Population Council ( email )

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David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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