Comparing long-term educational effects of two early childhood health interventions

Darwin Cortés, Darío Maldonado, Juan Gallego, Nathalie Charpak, Rejean Tessier, Juan Gabriel Ruiz, José Tiberio Hernandez, Felipe Uriza, Julieth Pico

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We compare the educational effects of two medical protocols that mitigate long-term consequences of prematurity or low birth weight. The two protocols are Traditional Care (TC), which uses incubators, and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) which replaces incubators for 24-hour skin-to-skin contact between newborns and caregivers. We concentrate on educational outcomes addressing contradictory results in previous contributions. We use a randomized controlled trial implemented in 1993 that randomly assigned children to either TC or KMC. OLS results suggest that KMC children spent more time in preschool, had fewer temporary school absences, and showed lower math test scores. Both groups observed similar effects on high-school graduation and language test scores. We correct for attrition, small sample, and multiple outcomes. Effects on preschool attendance and school absenteeism are robust, particularly for more vulnerable infants (birth weight ≤ 1,800 g). The other effects lose statistical significance due to multiple outcome testing or attrition corrections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102693
JournalJournal of Health Economics
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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