Worms at Work: Long-run Impacts of a Child Health Investment

Sarah Baird, Joan Hamory Hicks, Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel

NBER Working Paper No. 21428
Issued in July 2015, Revised in July 2016
NBER Program(s):Development Economics Program, Economics of Education Program, Health Economics Program

This study estimates long-run impacts of a child health investment, exploiting community-wide experimental variation in school-based deworming. The program increased labor supply among men and education among women, with accompanying shifts in labor market specialization. Ten years after deworming treatment, men who were eligible as boys stay enrolled for more years of primary school, work 17% more hours each week, spend more time in non-agricultural self-employment, are more likely to hold manufacturing jobs, and miss one fewer meal per week. Women who were in treatment schools as girls are approximately one quarter more likely to have attended secondary school, halving the gender gap. They reallocate time from traditional agriculture into cash crops and non-agricultural self-employment. We estimate a conservative annualized financial internal rate of return to deworming of 32%, and show that mass deworming may generate more in future government revenue than it costs in subsidies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21428

Published: Sarah Baird & Joan Hamory Hicks & Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Worms at Work: Long-run Impacts of a Child Health Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 131(4), pages 1637-1680. citation courtesy of

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