Medium-Term Effects of the Nicaraguan CCT on Cognitive Functioning and Educational Attainment

Tania Barham, University of Colorado at Boulder
Karen Macours, Johns Hopkins University
John A. Maluccio, Middlebury College

Improving health and nutrition of young children is important not only for their immediate well-being, but also because it is believed to reduce poverty through improved cognitive development, health, educational achievements. However, there is limited evidence of the longer-run effects of early childhood health and nutrition interventions, especially on later cognitive functioning and children’s learning in school. It is also not well understood how important it is to provide health and nutrition interventions in the first few years of life. This paper exploits the randomized design and timing of benefits of the Nicaraguan CCT program, the Red de Protección Social (RPS), to estimate the medium-term effects of being eligible for the intervention early in childhood (i.e., during the first 2 years of life) relative to being eligible later (after age 2), on various domains of cognitive fucntioning and academic achievement of these same children 11 years laters.

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Presented in Session 170: Effects of Education Investments: Randomized Evaluations