The Effect of Child Health on Schooling: Evidence from Rural Vietnam

Thuan Thai, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Evangelos Falaris, University of Delaware

We study the relationship between long term child health and human capital. Child health may suffer if a child is inadequately nourished or is exposed to disease early in life and this may affect subsequent accumulation of human capital. We use data from rural Vietnam to examine the impact of child health on delay in starting school and schooling progress taking into account that choices of families affect children’s health and schooling. Our instrument is early life rainfall shocks that have differential effects arising from regional economic diversity. Our estimates indicate that better child health results in meaningfully improved schooling outcomes. Keywords: child health, z-score, school entry delay, schooling gap, rainfall shocks, Vietnam. JEL classifications: I12, J24, J13, O15.

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Presented in Session 173: Population, Health, and Economic Development