Kjell Salvanes presents at University of Essex

12 December 2016 15:26

(updated: 12 December 2016 17:28)

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.

Kjell G. Salvanes
Kjell G. Salvanes

Place: University of Essex

Date: Thursday, December 15

Time: 16:00

Abstract: A growing literature documents the positive long-term e ects 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 e ects 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 e ects on adult height and that individuals su er 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 a ected. Finally, we investigate the costs of the program and show that investments in mother and child health care centers pass a simple cost-bene t analysis.