MACHEquity postdoctoral fellow Farhan Majid’s recent article in the Journal of Development Economics reveals fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan can have significantly adverse effects on children born to women that were fasting during pregnancy. Using data from Indonesia, where about three-quarters of pregnant Muslim women fast, Farhan finds that these children score more poorly on school tests, are more likely to fall into child labour, and have worse jobs when they grow up. These effects are stronger for Muslim families but insignificant for non-Muslims.
The persistent effects of in utero nutrition shocks over the life cycle: Evidence from Ramadan fasting. Journal of Development Economics 117, 48-57. doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.06.006