Does Early Life Shock Retard Cognitive Development? Panel Data Evidence from Rural Ethiopia


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Does Early Life Shock Retard Cognitive Development? Panel Data Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

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Does Early Life Shock Retard Cognitive Development? Panel Data Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

  1. 1. ETHIOPIAN DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE Does Early Life Shock Retard Cognitive Development? Panel Data Evidence from Rural Ethiopia Guush Berhane-IFPRI ESSP, Mehari Hiluf-IFPRI ESSP, and Tassew Woldehanna-Young Lives Ethiopia Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) 19th Annual Conference of the African Region Chapter of the Econometric Society And 12th International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy July 16-19, 2014, Addis Ababa 1
  2. 2. 2 Presentation Outline 1. Introduction Motivation, Research question and objective 2. Data and measurement variables 3. Methodology 4. Results Descriptive and Estimation results 5. Concluding remarks
  3. 3. 1. Introduction  Motivation  Cognitive development is a human skill development that covers perception, thinking, learning, and capacity to assess and solve problems.  A large body of literature in Early Childhood development (ECD) show that cognitive skills are formed relatively early in life and linked to schooling and labor market performance later in life. Therefore, Proper development in critical period is highly important for cognitive skill and future life chances of children!!!
  4. 4. Motivation  Rural life in Ethiopia characterized by  poverty, food insecurity and vulnerability to adverse shocks. • very poor investments on physical and cognitive development (e.g., nutrition, health, parenting, home learning environment). • Occurrence of recurrent shocks exacerbate poor conditions of child development.
  5. 5. Motivation  In the face of this, the country has started implementing a safety net program, called Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) since 2005.  The PSNP provides transfers to food insecure households in the form of food/cash-for-work and direct transfers.  The PSNP thus aims at protecting households from ex-post consequences of shocks as well as help building their assets.
  6. 6.  Vast literature document the long-term impacts of poverty, malnutrition and shocks on early childhood development. • Children exposed to drought shocks during early childhood reveal a slow height growth (Martorell, 1999, Hoddinott and Kinsey, 2001, Yamano et al., 2005 and Woldehanna, 2009). • School‐aged children who were severely malnourished in the early years are more likely to suffer from cognitive deficit(Grantham-McGregor,1995;and Grantham McGregor and Baker-Henningham , 2005) Motivation
  7. 7. Motivation • Outes et al (2011) show significant positive impact of nutrition on cognitive achievement of Peruvian children.  However, there is limited evidence on effect of shocks on cognitive development, particularly from developing countries (Alderman, 2011).  Further, food or cash support to the shock affected households can reduce the negative impact of shock.
  8. 8. Motivation  Most studies of PSNP have been focusing on its impact on household income and food security (Berhane et al 2011; Jones et al 2010; Gilligan et al 2010; Hoddinnot et al. 2009) and few on children’s education (Emirie et al 2008; Woldehanna 2009 and 2011; Tafere and Woldehanna 2012).  This study hopes to contribute towards the recent effort to bridging the evidence gap on effect of shocks and safety nets on cognitive development.
  9. 9. Research question and objective This study investigates the following three questions: i) Is there a significant difference in cognitive achievement between children who were affected by shock during the critical period(early life) and those who were not affected ii) Does experience of a shock at critical period reduce growth of cognitive achievement over time (retard cognitive skill development) ? iii) To what extent interventions like PSNP affect cognitive development of children?
  10. 10.  Therefore, the main objective of this study is to asses the effect of early life shocks and PSNP on cognitive development of children. Research question and objective
  11. 11. 2. Data and measurement variables  We use three rounds (2002, 2006, & 2009) panel data from the Young Lives Longitudinal Study (YLLS) in Ethiopia.  YLLS is tracking two cohorts of children, 2000 Younger Cohort (children born in 2001/2) and 1000 Older Cohort (children born in 1994/5).  The sample comprises data from 20 sentinel sites that cover five regions: the four regions plus Addis Ababa.  Sampling was purposive in selecting sites but random in selecting the households in each region.
  12. 12.  We use the rural sentinel sites where shocks like crop failure and livestock losses are relevant and PSNP operates.  We also focus on the younger cohort because they were aged 6 to 18 months in round 1 (2002) and that makes investigation of the critical developmental period possible.  We proxy cognitive achievement of the children by Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), which administered in round 2 and 3.  Children are shown some pictures and asked to reflect on them. The number and the level of difficulty of questions differ according to child’s age. Data and measurement variables
  13. 13. Data and measurement variables  we use self-reported household shocks including crop failure, livestock loss, death of family member, and divorce as proxy for household shocks.  The household participation in either public work (PW) or direct support (DS) is also used as indicator of the households PSNP participation.
  14. 14. Methodology  Our study use both a simple descriptive analysis and panel data models:  With the two-period (round 2 and 3) PPVT score data of the children, we estimate First-differencing (FD) method with initial conditions. ∆ 𝑷𝑷𝑽𝑻𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 = 𝜶 𝟎 + 𝜶 𝟏 ∆ 𝑯𝑨𝒁𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 + 𝜷 𝟏 ∆ 𝑺𝒉𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒔𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 +𝝎 ∆ 𝑷𝑺𝑵𝑷𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 + 𝜹 𝟏 ∆ 𝑿𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 + 𝜶 𝟐 𝑯𝑨𝒁𝒊 𝟎𝟐 +𝜷 𝟐 𝑺𝒉𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒔𝒊 𝟎𝟐 + 𝜹 𝟐 𝑿𝒊 𝟎𝟐 + ∆ 𝜺𝒊 𝟎𝟗−𝟎𝟔 …(1)  As far as they are exogenous, adding the early life (Round 1) status to the first difference still give consistent result (Shahidur , 2010)
  15. 15. 4- Results Descriptive Results: Cognitive Score in 2006 and 2009 for the early Life (2002) Shock- affected and Not-affected Children Shocks in 2002 Mean Raw PPVT Score in 2006 Mean Raw PPVT Score in 2009 Not affected Affected Diff Not-affected Affected Diff Crop failure 20.71 18.02 2.69*** 79.11 63.9 15.23*** Livestock loss 19.67 18.83 .84* 75.06 62.44 12.62*** Death of family member 19.51 18.96 0.56 72.814 62.76 10.05*** Divorce 19.49 19.1 0.39 72.03 73.71 -1.677
  16. 16. Change in PPVT Score (Δ2006-2009) for Early Life (2002) Shock Affected and Not-affected Children Shocks in 2002 Change in Raw PPVT Score (ΔPPVT2006-2009 ) Not affected Affected Diff Crop failure 58.91 46.29 12.63*** Livestock loss 55.87 44.18 11.69*** Death of family member 53.81 44.29 9.51*** Divorce 53.023 55.5 -2.48
  17. 17. Figure 1: Comparison of Change in Age-standardized Raw PPVT Score (Δ PPVT2006-2009) by Incidence of Shocks in 2002 -20.00 0.00 20.00 40.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Age Decile in Month, 2002 Crop Failure Shock Not Affected in 2002 Crop Failure Shock Affected in 2002 -20.00 -10.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Age Decile in Month, 2002 Livestock Loss Shock Not Affected in 2002 Livestock Loss Shock Affected in 2002 -20.00 0.00 20.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Age Decile in Month, 2002 Death of Family Member Shock Not Affected in 2002 Death of Family Member Shock Affected in 2002 -40.00 -20.00 0.00 20.00 40.00 60.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Age Decile in Month, 2002 Divorce Shock Not Affected in 2002 Divorce Shock Affected in 2002
  18. 18.  The overall descriptive results show that: • There is a significant cognitive achievement and development difference between children by the incidence of crop failure, livestock loss, and death of family members shocks in early age. • Children affected by these shocks find to have a lower cognitive score as well as lower cognitive development over time. Descriptive Result
  19. 19. Estimation Results (only variables of interest presented) Variables First-difference with initial conditions Initial condition variables (2002) Shock dummies in 2002 Crop failure -5.376 (1.852)*** Livestock loss -4.810 (2.019)** Death of family member -6.216 (3.378)* Divorce 2.701 (4.963) Δ PSNP participation 3.525 (1.608)** Dependent Variable: Δ PPVT Raw Score, 2006-2009
  20. 20. Concluding remarks  Our results show that early life (critical period) shocks, particularly crop failure, loss of livestock, and death of family members, have significant negative effect on cognitive development. • Comparing to the children who were not affected by early life shocks, on average, children affected by crop failure, loss of livestock, and death of family members scored 5.4, 4.8, and 6.2 points lower cognitive development, respectively.  Early life shock retards cognitive development of children!!!
  21. 21.  We also find that PSNP participation has a significant positive impact on cognitive development of the children. • On average, PSNP beneficiary children score 3.5 higher points over non-beneficiary children.  our results have immense implications:  Investing in early childhood development to protect children from shock can improve cognitive development of children, which is also a detrimental factor for human capital development as well as economic development of a country.
  22. 22.  The finding that PSNP has spillover effect on children’s cognitive development suggests that more strong impact would be realized if PSNP was child sensitive that target children directly.  We also note that PSNP has a potential to facilitate cognitive development catch-up for children who were affected by shock during the critical period.
  23. 23. Thank you!