Household Shocks and Adolescent Well‑Being in Peru
This paper explores the linkages between exposure to household shocks across early life and children’s educational and well-being outcomes in Peru. We use longitudinal survey data for a sample of 1713 children from five rounds of the Young Lives Survey to investigate how exposure to shocks across early life is linked to test scores and well-being in adolescence and to determine the extent to which critical periods of shock exposure exist. We expand on prior work by assessing the relationship between early childhood shocks and broader metrics of adolescent wellbeing beyond cognitive outcomes and by evaluating the cumulative impact of shocks over the course of a child’s early life. We find that exposure to a greater number of shocks across early life is negatively associated with reading and vocabulary test scores. In addition, shock exposure in adolescence—versus earlier in childhood— has the strongest negative association with testing and well-being outcomes, suggesting that older children’s time and household resources may be diverted away from learning and well-being in response to shocks. In light of increasingly frequent and severe weather events associated with climate change, as well as recent largescale economic and health crises, policies aimed at supporting the most vulnerable children should be considered to alleviate the negative consequences of shocks on children’s educational outcomes and well-being.