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Department of Economics, University of Bergen Working Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Bergen

No 13/12:
EARLY LIFE HEALTH INTERVENTIONS AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Prashant Bharadwaj (), Katrine V. Løken () and Christopher Neilson ()

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of improved neonatal health care on mortality and long run academic achievement in school. We use the idea that medical treatments often follow rules of thumb for assigning care to patients, such as the classification of Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW), which assigns infants special care at a specific birth weight cutoff. Using detailed administrative data on schooling and birth records from Chile and Norway, we establish that children who receive extra medical care at birth have lower mortality rates and higher test scores and grades in school. These gains are in the order of 0.15-0.22 standard deviations.

Keywords: Very low birth weight; academic achievement; regression discontinuity; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: I11; I38; J13; (follow links to similar papers)

71 pages, July 24, 2012

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