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12:30 - 13:45 28 January 2013

"Cognitive Development, Achievement, and Parental Investments: Evidence from a Clean Water Reform in Mexico"


IFS Seminar Room | Institute for Fiscal Studies (link Map)
7 Ridgmount Street | London | WC1E 7AE |

Open to: Academic | Student
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Sonia Bhalotra, Bristol

Mexico implemented a massive clean water reform in 1991 which led to a sharp drop in diarrhea of close to 50%. Using cohort and state variation in diarrhea reduction, we identify significant causal effects of birth year exposure to diarrhea on cognitive test scores and school achievement tests of teenage and pre-teenage girls, the corresponding estimates for boys being smaller and statistically insignificant. The gains are in the region of 0.1 standard deviations for a one standard deviation reduction in childhood diarrheal mortality rates. We find that the reform also stimulates complementary investments in girls and primarily girls, including preschool attendance and a shift in time from chores to homework, and the evidence suggests that the test score gains we identify hinge upon these investments.


Institute for Fiscal Studies
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