The Impact of Experimental Nutritional Interventions on Education into Adulthood in Rural Guatemala: Preliminary Longitudinal Analysis

Jere Behrman, University of Pennsylvania
John Hoddinott, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
John A. Maluccio, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Agnes R. Quisumbing, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University
Aryeh D. Stein, Emory University

Early childhood nutrition is thought to have important effects on education. We investigate the impact of a community-level experimental nutritional intervention in rural Guatemala on various measures of education, using the well-known INCAP longitudinal data from the initial intervention in 1969-77 (when the subjects were 0-15 years old) with the most recent information collected on the same individuals in 2002-3. We estimate the effects of exposure to the intervention (that offered a nutritious supplement called Atole) during the critical period when individuals were six months through 24 months of age. Our preliminary results indicate significantly positive, and fairly substantial, effects of exposure on all the education related outcomes we consider: the probability of attending school and passing first grade, the grade attained by age 13, completed schooling attainment, adult Raven's test scores, and adult cognitive achievement scores. Thus there are important education-related effects, some of which persist well into adulthood.

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Presented in Session 55: Child Health and Education in Developing Countries