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Healthy school meals and educational outcomes

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  • Belot, Michèle
  • James, Jonathan

Abstract

This paper provides field evidence on the effects of diet on educational outcomes, exploiting a campaign lead in the UK in 2004, which introduced drastic changes in the meals offered in the schools of one borough - Greenwich - shifting from low-budget processed meals towards healthier options. We evaluate the effect of the campaign on educational outcomes in primary schools using a difference in differences approach; comparing educational outcomes in primary schools (Key Stage 2 outcomes more specifically) before and after the reform, using the neighbouring Local Education Authorities as a control group. We find evidence that educational outcomes did improve significantly in English and Science. We also find that authorised absences - which are most likely linked to illness and health - fell by 14%.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 489-504

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:489-504

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Child nutrition Child health School meals Education Natural experiment;

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  1. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2011. "Was There Really a Hawthorne Effect at the Hawthorne Plant? An Analysis of the Original Illumination Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 224-38, January.
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  3. Sandra McNally & Stephen Machin, 2004. "The Literacy Hour," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 43, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Jere Behrman & Victor Lavy, . "Child Health and Schooling Achievement: Association, Causality and Household Allocations," CARESS Working Papres 97-23, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, 04.
  6. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
  7. David N. Figlio & Joshua Winicki, 2002. "Food for Thought: The Effects of School Accountability Plans on School Nutrition," NBER Working Papers 9319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Behrman, Jere R, 1996. "The Impact of Health and Nutrition on Education," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 23-37, February.
  9. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher, 2006. "Reading, Writing, and Refreshments: Are School Finances Contributing to Children’s Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  10. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & Victor Lavy & Rekha Menon, 2001. "Child Health and School Enrollment: A Longitudinal Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 185-205.
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Cited by:
  1. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Ramadan, fasting and educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 219-226.
  2. Michèle Belot (University of Edinburgh), Jonathan James (University of Bath) and Patrick Nolen (University of Essex), 2013. "Changing Eating Habits – A Field Experiment in Primary Schools," ESE Discussion Papers 219, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. McEwan, Patrick J., 2013. "The impact of Chile's school feeding program on education outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 122-139.
  4. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2011. "School meal crowd out in the 1980s," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/261, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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