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The Contribution of Health in Utero to Capacity Formation, Education, and Economic Outcomes: Experimental Evidence From Tanzania

  • 2009-2011
  • Project
Nikolov, Plamen, Harvard University

Study: ʺThe Contribution of Health in Utero to Capacity Formation, Education, and Economic Outcomes: Experimental Evidence From Tanzaniaʺ
PI: Nikolov, Plamen
Affiliation: Harvard University
Funding Partner: IIE
Project Dates:
Start: 2009
End: 2011
Data Source(s): Panel Data
Method(s): Randomized Controlled Trial
Geographic Location: Tanzania

Description:
Because of the high returns of schooling in developing countries, policymakers have placed considerable attention to increasing school access. However, cognitive development in utero can affect demand for education through maternal deficiency in folic acid. This deficiencey can biologically constrain children’s demand for education. The researchers examine how reductions in micronutrient deficiency in utero affect child schooling attainment in Tanzania. They examine to what extent parents allocate resources to compensate for or reinforce inequalities across children in cognitive endowments.

This research will help to bridge the gap between adult health and economic outcomes by examining how health and nutrition in utero may lead to long-lasting outcomes. Based on this research, important policy implications can be made to examine programs and policies that aim to improve fetal health and whether these are cost-effective. Finally, results from this study could help policymakers accurately prioritize nutrition interventions and more clearly understand how to improve education in developing countries.

Research Outputs:
Nikolov, Plamen. (2012). The Cognitive Link between in Utero Nutrition and Development: Micronutrient Deficiency, Schooling Attainment, and Economic Outcomes in Tanzania. (Doctoral Dissertation) Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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