London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

Abstract for:

Fasting During Pregnancy and Children's Academic Performance

Douglas  Almond,  Bhashkar  Mazumder,  Reyn  van Ewijk,  January 2012
Paper No' CEEDP0134: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: educational outcomes; pregnancy; fasting

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This Paper is published under the following series: CEE Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

We consider the effects of daytime fasting by pregnant women during the lunar month of Ramadan on their children's test scores at age seven. Using English register data, we find that scores are .05 to .08 standard deviations lower for Pakistani and Bangladeshi students exposed to Ramadan in early pregnancy. These estimates are downward biased to the extent that Ramadan is not universally observed. We conclude that the effects of prenatal investments on test scores are comparable to many conventional educational interventions but are likely to be more cost effective and less subject to “fade out”.