A longitudinal dataset that follows 1,200 Vietnamese children born in 2001-2 is used to investigate the impact of child malnutrition on cognitive development. We demonstrate that the impact of early childhood stunting on cognition can be estimated with significant bias for a majority of children if researchers omit the data on gestational age. The negative impact of the length in preterm on the cognitive achievement of pre-schoolers is statistically significant. Having controlled for the effect of the length in preterm, however, the effect of height-for-age at age one on cognitive achievement at age five is not statistically significant.
Keywords: Preterm, Height-for-age; Cognitive achievement; Instrument variables; Asia; Vietnam
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