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Economic Conditions in Early Childhood and the Inter-generational Transmission of Poverty

Principal Investigator: Professor Oriana Bandiera, London School of Economics and Political Science 

The economic conditions children experience during their early years can have permanent impacts on cognitive and non-cognitive traits that shape their outcomes later in life. This might be key to explaining the persistence of poverty across generations. The aim of this project is to establish whether this chain can be broken. This will be achieved via a large-scale RCT designed to evaluate an innovative anti-poverty program targeting women in the poorest areas of Bangladesh. We build on our existing work demonstrating that this program transformed the economic lives of the beneficiaries from 2007-2014, in order to determine whether these benefits carried over to the next generation. We aim to track all the children of the beneficiaries who were aged 0-10 at treatment date, test their outcomes against those of their counterparts in control villages and assess how the effect of treatment depends on their age at exposure to the program. The findings will shed light on the dynamics of poverty and inform cost-benefit analyses of anti-poverty programs.


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