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Persistent poverty and children's cognitive development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Dickerson, Andrew and Popli, Gurlee (2011) Persistent poverty and children's cognitive development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Working Paper. Department of Economics, University of Sheffield ISSN 1749-8368


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We use data from the four sweeps of the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) of children born at the turn of the century to document the impact that poverty, and in particular persistent poverty, has on their cognitive development in their early years. We show that children born into poverty have significantly lower test scores at age 3, age 5 and age 7, and that continually living in poverty in their early years has a cumulative negative impact on their cognitive development. For children who are persistently in poverty throughout their early years, their cognitive development test scores at age 7 are more than 10 percentile ranks lower than children who have never experienced poverty, even after controlling for a wide range of background characteristics and parenting investment.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The Sheffield Economics Research Paper (SERP) series offers a forum for the research output of the academic staff and research students of the Department of Economics, University of Sheffield. Papers are reviewed for quality and presentation by a departmental editor. However, the contents and opinions expressed remain the responsibility of the authors. All papers may be downloaded free on the understanding that the contents are preliminary and therefore permission from the author(s) should be sought before they are referenced.
Keywords: child poverty, cognitive development
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Economics (Sheffield) > Sheffield Economics Research Papers Series
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2011 16:56
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 15:13
Published Version: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/yea...
Status: Published
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Sheffield
Identification Number: Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series 2011023
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43513

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