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Inequalities in adolescent learning: Does the timing and persistence of food insecurity at home matter?

, Department of Management & Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovations, United Kingdom ; , Department of Sociology, United Kingdom ; , Department of Economics, India

Economics of Education Review Volume 70, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


We investigated inequalities in learning achievements at 12 years by household food insecurity trajectories at ages 5, 8 and 12 years in a longitudinal sample of 1,911 Indian children. Estimates included extensive child and household controls and lagged cognitive scores to address unobserved individual heterogeneity in ability and early investments. Overall, household food insecurity at any age predicted lower vocabulary, reading, maths and English scores in early adolescence. Adolescents from households that transitioned from food insecurity at age 5 to food security at a later age, and adolescents from chronically food insecure households had the lowest scores across all outcomes. There was heterogeneity in the relationship between temporal occurrence of food insecurity and cognitive skills, based on developmental and curriculum-specific timing of skill formation. Results were robust to additional explanations of the “household food insecurity gap”, i.e. education and health investments, parental and children's educational aspirations, and children's psychosocial skills.


Aurino, E., Fledderjohann, J. & Vellakkal, S. (2019). Inequalities in adolescent learning: Does the timing and persistence of food insecurity at home matter?. Economics of Education Review, 70(1), 94-108. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 30, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on June 3, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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