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An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition

Paul Glewwe and Hanan G. Jacoby
The Review of Economics and Statistics
Vol. 77, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 156-169
Published by: The MIT Press
DOI: 10.2307/2110001
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110001
Page Count: 14
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An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition
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Abstract

This paper investigates why children in low income countries often delay primary school enrollment, despite the prediction of human capital theory that schooling will begin at the earliest possible age. We explore several explanations for delayed enrollment, but focuses on the hypothesis that delays are rational responses to early childhood malnutrition. We test these alternative hypotheses using recent data from Ghana. Our estimates, which address a number of previously ignored econometric issues, firmly support the hypothesis that early childhood malnutrition causes delayed enrollment. We find little or not support for alternative explanations based on borrowing constraints and the rationing of places in school.

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