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Worms : Identifying impacts on education and health in the presence of treatment externalities

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  • Worms
  • Edward Miguel; Michael Kremer
  • Berkeley


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Title Worms
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Sub Title

Identifying impacts on education and health in the presence of treatment externalities

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Edward Miguel; Michael Kremer

Publisher

California : Berkeley

Date 2018
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Econometrica:vol.72(no.1)
Pages 59
Subject Country United States(Americas)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Health
Holding Berkeley
License

Abstract

Intestinal helminths—including hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and schistosomiasis— infect more than one-quarter of the world’s population. Studies in which medical treatment is randomized at the individual level potentially doubly underestimate the benefits of treatment, missing externality benefits to the comparison group from reduced disease transmission, and therefore also underestimating benefits for the treatment group. We evaluate a Kenyan project in which school-based mass treatment with deworming drugs was randomly phased into schools, rather than to individuals, allowing estimation of overall program effects. The program reduced school absenteeism in treatment schools by one-quarter, and was far cheaper than alternative ways of boosting
school participation. Deworming substantially improved health and school participation among untreated children in both treatment schools and neighboring schools, and these externalities are large enough to justify fully subsidizing treatment. Yet we do not find evidence that deworming improved academic test scores.