NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Gendered Spillover Effect of Young Children's Health on Human Capital: Evidence from Turkey

Marcella Alsan

NBER Working Paper No. 23702
Issued in August 2017
NBER Program(s):CH, DAE, POL

Recent policy debates on closing the education gender gap in developing countries have focused on cash transfers, but standard models of intrahousehold allocation imply that reducing the opportunity cost of girls' schooling might also be effective. I test this prediction using quasi-experimental variation from a national vaccination campaign targeting under-five children in Turkey. I find gains in health and human capital among age-eligible children of both sexes. However, educational spillover effects accrue exclusively to their adolescent, ineligible sisters. These spillover effects are increasing if the mother works outside the home and in the number of young children in the household, and are absent if an elder sister is present. My results suggest reducing morbidity among preschool children may have the added benefit of improving educational outcomes for their adolescent sisters in the developing world

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23702

 
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