The Effects of Prenatal and Early-Postnatal Exposure to Mexico’s Oportunidades on Long-Term Cognitive Achievement
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CitationSánchez, Alonso. 2016. The Effects of Prenatal and Early-Postnatal Exposure to Mexico’s Oportunidades on Long-Term Cognitive Achievement. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractIt is well established that children’s early life environments can have significant consequences on their long-term outcomes. Yet, there is still limited empirical evidence on the effects that being exposed during the prenatal and early postnatal periods to positive shocks, such as conditional cash transfers, has on long-term cognitive function. By exploiting the initial village-level randomization, I estimate the causal effect on long-term cognitive achievement of prenatal and early postnatal exposure to Oportunidades, Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program. I find that those eligible children born into the program who received its benefits early on have higher standardized assessment scores in mathematics and Spanish in third through sixth grade—up to 15 years after the program began. In line with previous research on CCTs, the effects are largely driven by children living in the poorest villages as measured by a marginalization index. Notably, the effect on these children is large enough to put their cognitive achievement on a par with children from more moderately poor villages.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:32663232