Immediate and Longer-term Effects of Health on Socioeconomic Success

Duncan Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles
Christopher McKelvey, University of Maryland
Bondan Sikoki, SurveyMETER

Iron deficiency is widespread throughout the developing world, particularly among older adults. We provide new evidence for the effect of iron deficiency on an array of indicators of socio-economic success drawing on a random assignment treatment control intervention we implemented. The Work and Iron Status Evaluation follows over 10,000 older adults in Central Java, Indonesia. Half the respondents received a treatment of 100 mg of iron every week for a year; the controls received a placebo. We focus on income, asset accumulation, physical and psycho-social health, and time allocated to work, leisure and family. Contrasting changes in these outcomes for treatments with changes in outcomes for controls, we measure the causal effect of iron supplementation on these indicators of socio-economic status shortly after supplementation started and when supplementation ended. To assess the longevity of these effects, we compare treatments with controls one year and two years after supplementation ended

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Presented in Session 42: Influences of Health on Socioeconomic Status