Menu Close
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Early Childhood Development in Rural China: Evidence from the Qingling Cohort Study

October 19, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

On Friday, October 19th, Sean Sylvia, PhD, will present Early Childhood Development in Rural China: Evidence from the Qingling Cohort Study as part of the Carolina Population Center 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.
Sean Sylvia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Sylvia is a health and development economist whose research focuses on designing and evaluating innovative approaches to improve the delivery of health services in developing countries. His work relies heavily on fieldwork to collect primary data and most uses experimental or quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the causal effects of policies and interventions. In past and ongoing projects, he has studied the design of performance-based incentives for providers, school-based health and nutrition programs, early childhood health and development, and the quality of primary care in low-resource settings. His work has been published journals such as the BMJ, PLOS Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, and Health Policy and Planning. He has long-standing collaborations with researchers at a number of universities in China where he has directed several large-scale surveys and randomized trials. Prior to joining UNC, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics at Renmin University of China.


A growing body of cross-disciplinary research suggests that human capital deficits in early life negatively affect later life outcomes and that interventions in early childhood can substantially improve health and productivity in adulthood. Given this evidence – and growing recognition that human capital development is an important mechanism affecting the persistence of poverty and inequality – investing in early childhood has risen on the policy agenda in a number of developing countries. The goal of the Qingling cohort study is to inform ECD policies in China. Across five waves of data collection, this study follows a cohort of more than 1800 children in rural areas of southern Shaanxi province from 6 months of age until age 5. Using this unique data, this talk will discuss the nutritional and developmental status of rural children and its evolution in early childhood. It will also present the short and medium-term results of two embedded randomized trials: one testing the effects of micronutrient supplementation and another intervention providing parenting support through home visits by cadres from China’s Family Planning Commission. Although the effects of micronutrient supplementation subside by age 2, we find persistent effects of the parenting intervention on cognitive outcomes. Data on parenting activities are used to explore behavioral mechanisms underlying these results.

Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Instructors: To arrange for class attendance, contact Kate Allison ( by the Monday before the seminar

Streaming may be available and must be arranged at least one week in advance.

This seminar is part of the Carolina Population Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.


October 19, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category: