Kjell Salvanes presents at University of Essex
Kjell Salvanes presents his paper "Infant Health Care and Long-Term Outcomes" (joint with Aline Bütikofer and Katrine Løken) at University of Essex.
Place: University of Essex
Date: Thursday, December 15
Abstract: A growing literature documents the positive long-term eects of policy-induced improvements in early-life health and nutrition. However, there is still scarce evidence on early-life health programs targeting a large share of the population and the role of such programs in increasing intergenerational mobility. This paper uses the rollout of mother and child health care centers in Norway, which commenced in the 1930s, to study the long-term consequences of increasing access to well-child visits. These well-child visits included a physical examination and the provision of information about adequate infant nutrition. Our rst results show that access to mother and child health care centers in the rst year of life increased the completed years of schooling by 0.15 years and earnings by two percent. Our second set of results reveals that these eects were stronger for children from a low socioeconomic background and contribute to a 10 percent reduction in the persistence of educational attainment across generations. Our third set of ndings suggest that better nutrition within the rst year of life is the main mechanism. In particular, we nd positive eects on adult height and that individuals suer from fewer health risks at age 40. In addition, we show that access to well-child visits decreased infant mortality from diarrhea whereas infant mortality from pneumonia, tuberculosis, or congenital malformations are not aected. Finally, we investigate the costs of the program and show that investments in mother and child health care centers pass a simple cost-benet analysis.