Iodine Deficiency and Educational Outcomes in Cameroon: Testing the Fetal Origins Hypothesis.

Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi,

Iodine deficiency is the most prevalent but preventable cause of brain damage and impaired cognitive development in the world. We assess the impact of salt iodization on educational outcomes of young people in Cameroon using the 2004 Census data. We estimate the impacts by exploiting the initial geographic variation in iodine deficiency and the temporal variation in those born before and after iodization in 1991. Our difference in difference estimates show that salt iodization significantly improved literacy rates and years of schooling completed for individuals born in high iodine deficient areas. Iodization also led to a marginal reduction in the incidence rates of deaf-mutism. Our results suggest that reducing early life micronutrient deficiencies can have long run effects on human capital development.

About the speaker
Nyasha Tirivayi is a Research Fellow at UNU-MERIT. She is a development and health economist whose research interests cover the following fields: Nutrition and Food Security; Social Protection; Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health; Education and Literacy; and Impact Evaluation.

Venue: Conference Rooom

Date: 06 November 2014

Time: 12:30 - 13:30