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The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults

52 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2006  

John A. Maluccio

Middlebury College - Department of Economics

John Hoddinott

Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Students

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Reynaldo Martorell

Emory University

Agnes R. Quisumbing

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Aryeh D. Stein

Emory University

Date Written: August 2006

Abstract

Early childhood nutrition is thought to have important effects on education, broadly defined to include various forms of learning. We advance beyond previous literature on the effect of early childhood nutrition on education in developing countries by using unique longitudinal data begun during a nutritional experiment during early childhood with educational outcomes measured in adulthood. Estimating an intent-to-treat model capturing the effect of exposure to the intervention from birth to 36 months, our results indicate significantly positive, and fairly substantial, effects of the randomized nutrition intervention a quarter century after it ended: increased grade attainment by women (1.2 grades) via increased likelihood of completing primary school and some secondary school; speedier grade progression by women; a one-quarter SD increase in a test of reading comprehension with positive effects found for both women and men; and a one-quarter SD increase on nonverbal cognitive tests scores. There is little evidence of heterogeneous impacts with the exception being that exposure to the intervention had a larger effect on grade attainment and reading comprehension scores for females in wealthier households. The findings are robust to an array of alternative estimators of the standard errors and controls for sample attrition.

Keywords: education, schooling, Guatemala, nutrition, economic development, Latin America

JEL Classification: I2, O1

Suggested Citation

Maluccio, John A. and Hoddinott, John and Behrman, Jere and Martorell, Reynaldo and Quisumbing, Agnes R. and Stein, Aryeh D., The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults (August 2006). PIER Working Paper No. 06-026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=946107 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.946107

John Maluccio (Contact Author)

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802-443-5941 (Phone)

John Hoddinott

Cornell University, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Students ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

160 McNeil Building
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Reynaldo Martorell

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Agnes Quisumbing

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Aryeh Stein

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-4255 (Phone)

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