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Welfare Grants and Their Impact on Child Health: The Case of Sri Lanka

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  • Himaz, Rozana

Abstract

Summary This paper asks whether an exogenous increase in income in the context of a poverty alleviation program has an impact on child anthropometric outcomes. The study looks at the Samurdhi Program in Sri Lanka, and uses household data for 1999/2000. Using propensity score matching to account for selectivity bias, the paper finds that Samurdhi improves the height-for-age z-score of a child from a grant-receiving family by roughly 0.40 standard deviations with the impact driven mainly by children between six, and 36 months of age, compared to if they did not receive the grant. It also improves weight-for-height z-scores by around 0.45 standard deviations of children aged 36-60 months. These results are important for Sri Lanka, where child nutrition is a cause for concern.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1843-1857

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:10:p:1843-1857

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: welfare programs child health matching methods South Asia Sri Lanka;

References

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  1. Richard Blundell & Mónica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," CEF.UP Working Papers 0805, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  2. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  4. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  5. Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "Care and Nutrition: Concepts and Measurement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1309-1337, August.
  6. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  7. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  9. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-62, February.
  10. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, 08.
  11. Essama-Nssah, B., 2006. "Propensity score matching and policy impact analysis - a demonstration in EViews," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3877, The World Bank.
  12. Orazio Attanasio & Alice Mesnard, 2006. "The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme on Consumption in Colombia," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 421-442, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Eva Deuchert & Christina Felfe, 2013. "The Tempest: Natural Disasters, Early Shocks and Children's Short- and Long-Run Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 4168, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  3. Manley, James & Gitter, Seth & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2013. "How Effective are Cash Transfers at Improving Nutritional Status?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 133-155.
  4. Thibbotuwawa, R.M.M.I. & Printhika, B.L.D.S. & Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith K. & Udugama, J.M.M., 2012. "Impact Of Microfinance On Household Welfare: Assessing The Case Of Samurdhi Program In Sri Lanka," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124320, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  5. Chen, Yi & Lei, Xiaoyan & Zhou, Li-An, 2010. "Child Health and the Income Gradient: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 5182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gao, Qin & Zhai, Fuhua & Garfinkel, Irwin, 2010. "How Does Public Assistance Affect Family Expenditures? The Case of Urban China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 989-1000, July.

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