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Healthy School Meals And Educational Outcomes

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  • Belot, Michele
  • 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 the campaign lead to a 15% fall in authorised absences – which are most likely linked to illness and health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Association of Wine Economists in its series Working Papers with number 56207.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aawewp:56207

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Web page: http://www.wine-economics.org
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Related research

Keywords: Child nutrition; Child health; School meals; Education; Natural Experiment; Placebo effect; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; J13; I18; I28; H51; H52;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Sandra McNally & Stephen Machin, 2004. "The Literacy Hour," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 43, Royal Economic Society.
  4. 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.
  5. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Working Paper Series WP-02-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. 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.
  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. 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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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  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. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2013. "Ramadan, fasting and educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 219-226.
  4. 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.

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