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Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia

Duncan Webb ()
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Duncan Webb: PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement

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Abstract: A large literature points towards the importance of early life circumstance in determining long-run human capital and wellbeing outcomes. This literature often justifies a focus on the very early years by citing the first 1000 days of life as a 'critical period' for child development, but this notion has rarely been directly tested. In a setting in which children are potentially subject to shocks in every year of their childhood, I estimate the impact of early life weather shocks on adult cognitive and socioemotional outcomes for individuals born in rural Indonesia between 1988 and 2000. There is a strong critical period for these shocks at age 2 for cognitive development, but no similar critical period for socioemotional development. The impacts of the shocks are likely to be taking place through nutritional and agricultural income channels. These impacts are initially latent, only appearing after age 15. I show suggestive evidence for dynamic complementarity in early life investments.

Keywords: Critical period; Human capital; Early childhood development; Dynamic complementarity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-his, nep-neu and nep-sea
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-03542607
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