This project will study the long-term effects of a child health program on recipients’ living standards, labor
supply, health, marriage and fertility and other life outcomes. The project extends a longitudinal (panel) dataset
of participants in a randomized health intervention (primary school-based deworming) when they were 8-15
years old. A novel aspect of the project is its intergenerational linkages: the dataset, the Kenya Life Panel
Survey (KLPS), contains detailed information on health, nutritional, educational, demographic, and labor
market outcomes for over 6,500 Kenyans during 1998-2021, and the health, behavioral and cognitive
development of their 3-9 year old children (collected 2018-2021). The resulting 28-year longitudinal dataset will
allow the study team to exploit experimental variation to estimate the long-run and intergenerational impacts of
a child health intervention. Critically, the most recent KLPS round had an effective survey rate of 84% among
adults 20 years after the start of the deworming program, with balance across treatment arms, alleviating
leading concerns about differential attrition and bias.
We will make use of the panel data structure to estimate the effects of major parental life events and shocks --
such as migration, marital separation, job loss -- on the cognitive and development outcomes of their children.
Having access to repeated measures of both parents and children over time is unusual in any context but
especially in low and middle income countries (LMICs), and we aim to create the premier intergenerational
longitudinal dataset in Sub-Saharan Africa. The matched parent-child data will also allow us to estimate the
correlation between performance on the same cognitive tests taken by parents (when they were in primary
school) and their own school-age children.
We propose to collect KLPS Round 5 with 6,500 adult survey respondents (aged 35-43) and a second round of
surveys and assessments with over 5,000 of their children (aged 6-13). The KLPS sample contains individuals
who participated in the Primary School Deworming Program (PSDP) mentioned above, and some who
participated in an unconditional cash grant program. Previous research shows that deworming had substantial
positive impacts on the health, schooling, living standards, urban residence and earnings of beneficiaries 10-20
years later; the cash grant program had positive short-run impacts on earnings. We also implemented two
parent-child interventions (reading promotion and sleep promotion), and will estimate the medium-run (4-5
year) impacts of these interventions on child learning and development. The randomized design of all of these
interventions addresses the key methodological problem of confounding. Causal long-run effects of health on
life outcomes have rarely been demonstrated due to the near absence of experimental variation in combination
with detailed longitudinal data on recipients and children. Accurate information on long-term direct and
intergenerational impacts is essential for assessing the cost-effectiveness of child health programs.