DP17257 Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: Evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden

Author(s): Sonia Bhalotra, Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson, Nina Schwarz
Publication Date: April 2022
Keyword(s): cognitive skills, early life interventions, Earnings, Education, gender, Infant health, Occupational choice, Programme evaluation, Sweden
JEL(s): H41, I15, I18
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=17257

We identify earnings impacts of exposure to an infant health intervention in Sweden, using individual linked administrative data to trace potential mechanisms. Leveraging quasi-random variation in eligibility, we estimate that exposure was associated with higher test scores in primary school for boys and girls. However only girls were more likely to score in the top quintile. Subsequent gains, in secondary schooling, employment, and earnings, are restricted to girls. We show that the differential gains for women accrued from both skills and opportunities.