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The Origins of Cognitive Skills and Non-cognitive Skills: The Long-Term Effect of in-Utero Rainfall Shocks in India

Grace Chang (), Marta Favara and Rafael Novella ()
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Grace Chang: London School of Economics

No 13960, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Skills are an important predictor of labour, education, and wellbeing outcomes. Understanding the origins of skills formation is important for reducing future inequalities. This paper analyses the effect of shocks in-utero on human capital outcomes in childhood and adolescence in India. Combining historical rainfall data and longitudinal data from Young Lives, we estimate the effect of rainfall shocks in-utero on cognitive and non-cognitive skills development over the first 15 years of life. We find negative effects of rainfall shocks on receptive vocabulary at age 5, and on mathematics and non-cognitive skills at age 15. Also, shocks occurred after the first trimester are more detrimental for skills development. Our findings support the implementation of policies aiming at reducing inequalities at very early stages in life.

Keywords: rainfall shocks; in-utero; skills formation; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-edu and nep-his
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Published - published in: Economics & Human Biology, 2022, 44, 101089

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