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  1. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  2. The effects of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Zambia

    Global investments in girls’ education have been motivated, in part, by an expectation that more-educated women will have smaller and healthier families. However, in many low- and middle-income countries, the timing of school dropout and first birth coincide, resulting in a rapid transition from the role of student to the role of mother for adolescent girls. Despite growing interest in the effects of pregnancy on levels of school dropout, researchers have largely overlooked the potential effect of adolescent childbearing on literacy and numeracy. …

  3. On the impact of early marriage on schooling outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia

    This paper examines the effect of age of marriage on women’s schooling outcomes for 36 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and South West Asia. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of early marriage driven by socio-economic and cultural factors. Our results show that delaying early marriage by one year is associated with an increase of half a year of education in Sub- Saharan Africa and nearly one third of a year of education in South West Asia as well as a lower likelihood of dropping out from secondary school of 5.5% in South West Asia.

  4. Sanitation and Education

    One in five children worldwide does not complete upper-primary school, with particularly high drop-out rates among pubescent-age girls that may limit economic opportunities and perpetuate gender inequality. This paper tests whether educational attainment is stymied by endemically inadequate school sanitation that threatens children's health, privacy, and safety. …

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