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Long-Run Outcomes of Childhood Interventions

Health & Psychology Kenya

To what extent do childhood gains from social programs translate to economic gains in adulthood? This project examines the impact of a child-health program on adult living standards by following participants in a deworming program in Kenya that began in 1998. Findings show that the treatment group, which received two to three more years of deworming, self-reported significant improvement in health, years enrolled in school, and test scores as well as a 12% increase in hours worked over time. These findings imply that health may correlate with level of labor supply. In addition, the study found substantial positive externalities among those living within 6 km of treatment schools. For those working for wages, the treatment group earned 20% higher than the control group. This is, for the most part, explained by shifts in labor sectors (for example, an increase in manufacturing jobs). In addition, among the self-employed, small business performance improves for the treatment group. With these results, researchers estimate the annualized social internal rate of return to deworming at 83%, suggesting that subsidizing school-based deworming is well-justified.

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