A Framework for the Analysis of Early Life Interventions

Flavio Cunha, University of Pennsylvania
Linda Adair, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Judith B. Borja, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
John Hoddinott, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
John A. Maluccio, Middlebury College
Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University
Esteban Puentes, Universidad de Chile
Aryeh D. Stein, Emory University
Fan Wang, University of Pennsylvania

In this paper we propose and create a framework to estimate height and weight production functions. We take advantage of databases for two developing countries, Guatemala and the Philippines, which include detailed anthropometric and diet information for children between 0 and 24 months old. The main advantage of these databases is that the children are followed for extended periods of time so panel data fixed-effects and instrumental variables are possible solutions to omitted variables and measurement error problems. We find that protein intake plays an important and positive role in the height and weight production function during the first two years of life.

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Presented in Session 50: Health and Mortality in Developing Countries