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Sánchez, Alan; Favara, Marta; Sheridan, Margaret; & Behrman, Jere (2024). Does Early Nutrition Predict Cognitive Skills during Later Childhood? Evidence from Two Developing Countries. World Development, 176, 106480.


The existing evidence linking early undernutrition to educational outcomes in developing countries is largely focused on assessing its impacts on grade attainment and achievement test scores, with limited evidence on the foundational cognitive skills required to perform well at school. We use unique data collected in Ethiopia and Peru as part of the Young Lives Study to investigate the relationship between early undernutrition and four foundational cognitive skills measured later in childhood, the first two of which measure executive functioning: working memory, inhibitory control, long-term memory, and implicit learning. We exploit the rich longitudinal data available to control for potential confounders at the household and individual level and for time-invariant community characteristics. We also take advantage of the availability of data for paired-siblings to obtain household fixed-effects estimates. In the latter specification, we find robust evidence that stunting at


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

World Development


Sánchez, Alan
Favara, Marta
Sheridan, Margaret
Behrman, Jere

Article Type


Data Set/Study

Young Lives Study




Sheridan - 0000-0002-8909-7501