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Twenty-year economic impacts of deworming.

  • Author(s): Hamory, Joan;
  • Miguel, Edward;
  • Walker, Michael;
  • Kremer, Michael;
  • Baird, Sarah
  • et al.
Abstract

Estimating the impact of child health investments on adult living standards entails multiple methodological challenges, including the lack of experimental variation in health status, an inability to track individuals over time, and accurately measuring living standards and productivity in low-income settings. This study exploits a randomized school health intervention that provided deworming treatment to Kenyan children, and uses longitudinal data to estimate impacts on economic outcomes up to 20 y later. The effective respondent tracking rate was 84%. Individuals who received two to three additional years of childhood deworming experienced a 14% gain in consumption expenditures and 13% increase in hourly earnings. There are also shifts in sectors of residence and employment: treatment group individuals are 9% more likely to live in urban areas, and experience a 9% increase in nonagricultural work hours. Most effects are concentrated among males and older individuals. The observed consumption and earnings benefits, together with deworming's low cost when distributed at scale, imply that a conservative estimate of its annualized social internal rate of return is 37%, a high return by any standard.

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