EARLY-CHILDHOOD NUTRITION, SCHOOLING, AND SIBLING INEQUALITY 83

Column 7 shows a parameter estimate between those in columns 5 and 6, which implies that part of the downward bias is the result of measurement error attenuation, though the estimate is insignificant.

Table 4.7 summarizes the results on grade repetition. The dependent variable is the cumulative number of grades repeated. As in the previous section, all specifications include age fixed effects, which standardize years of repeti- tion. Columns 1 and 2 show estimates with cluster and household fixed effects, respectively. The effect of the height z-score is insignificant in both cases. Consistent with the previous finding on grades completed, girls experience a smaller number of repetitions than boys.

Column 3 includes slope differences of the height-for-age z-score (as defined previously) to capture possible changes in the slope. These are found to be insignificant. In column 4 I include age interactions in addition to the slope differences. Interestingly, we find positive effects on grades repeated at ages 9 and 10 and height-for-age z-scores above 2. Though these results are only marginally significant, they are consistent with previous findings regarding grade completed.

In this chapter we cannot identify possible explanations for these findings. First, it is likely that for large children, ages were underreported in 1998, which leads to a positive estimate of the height effect among them. Second, we still cannot reject a hypothesis that the opportunity cost of schooling is high among large children because market and nonmarket returns to their health capital may be high.

Learning Outcomes

Table 4.8 reports the effects of height-for-age on mathematics test scores. In the 2004 survey we implemented four types of basic mathematics tests for children aged 7–9. For each question, an indicator is constructed to take the value of one if the answer is correct and zero otherwise (the descriptive statistics are given in Table 4.1).

Table 4.8 shows probit results with cluster fixed effects in columns 1–4.20 Significantly positive effects are found in addition and subtraction—relatively easy computations. The point estimate decreases as the difficulty of calcula- tion advances. In addition, age has a significant positive effect on the prob- ability of answering correctly, which implies that schooling improves learning performance.

20 Within-sibling estimation did not provide precise estimates owing to a small sample of chil- dren from households with multiple siblings in the 7–9 age group.

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