|Lecturer:||Tania Barham, University of Colorado at Boulder|
|Title:||Effects of Family Planning and Child Health Interventions on Adolescent Cognitive Functioning: Evidence from Matlab in Bangladesh|
|Location:||Condon Hall Rm 309 Conference Room|
|Hosted By:||Claus Portner|
Early childhood health and nutrition interventions have been shown to improve the health status of young children in developing countries. It is believed that improvements in health and nutrition early on may lead to improved cognitive development, health, educational achievements, and labor market opportunities in the future. Indeed, popular social programs such as conditional cash transfers rely on this link to achieve their poverty reduction goals. It is unclear, however, whether the benefits of early childhood health interventions are long-term, continuing into adolescence and adulthood, especially in environments where there are many competing health risks. This paper exploits a quasi-random placement and the phasing in of the Matlab Maternal and Child Health Project in Bangladesh to determine if typical family planning and early childhood health interventions received in childhood have lasting effects on cognitive functioning in late childhood and adolescence. Single and double difference model with propensity score weighting as well as mother fixed-effects models are used to determine the intent-to-treat effects of the program. We estimate the intent-to-treat effects for those children whose mother was eligible for the family planning program when they were born, but born before the child health interventions were available (the 15-19 year olds), and for those children who were born when both components of the program were available (the 8-14 year olds) separately. We find no program effect on the 15-19 year olds who may have benefited from the family planning program but not the child health interventions, but at least a 0.3 standard deviation increase in cognitive functioning, as measured by the Mini Mental State Exam, among children aged 8-14. The results are not an affect of increased education and the program seems to benefit second or higher birth order girls the most.