The Impact of Nutrition and School Quality on Primary School Enrollment in the Philippines

Jere Behrman, University of Pennsylvania
Sharon J. Ghuman, Population Council
Socorro Gultiano, University of San Carlos
Elizabeth King, World Bank Group

Poor nutrition and health are thought to have negative consequences for children's school performance, in turn compromising lifetime income, productivity, and health. The objectives of this research are to examine whether: (1) better nutrition during pre-school age is positively associated with enrollment in grade 1; and (2) whether any positive effect of nutrition on school entry is greater in communities where there are better quality teachers and primary schools. We use three rounds of longitudinal data collected in three regions of the Philippines, and focus on the cohort of school age children at the latest round. We employ prices and geographic dummy variables at pre-school age as instruments for child health since its effect on schooling may reflect behavioral choices, and explore the robustness of the effect of health (and its interaction with school quality) to different specifications.

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Presented in Session 64: Determinants of Educational Attainment