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Changing Eating Habits – A Field Experiment in Primary Schools

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Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in 31 primary schools in England to test whether incentives to eat fruit and vegetables help children develop healthier habits. The intervention consists of rewarding children with stickers and little gifts for a period of four weeks for choosing a portion of fruit and vegetables at lunch. We compare the effects of two incentive schemes (competition and piece rate) on choices and consumption over the course of the intervention as well as once the incentives are removed and six months later. We find that the intervention had positive effects, but the effects vary substantially according to age and gender. However, we find little evidence of sustained long term effects, except for the children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.

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File URL: http://www.ed.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.117864!/fileManager/MicheleBelot_June2013.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 219.

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Length: 54
Date of creation: 02 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:219

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Keywords: Incentives; Health; Habits; Child nutrition; Field experiment.;

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  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Belot, Michele & James, Jonathan, 2009. "Healthy School Meals And Educational Outcomes," Working Papers, American Association of Wine Economists 56207, American Association of Wine Economists.
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  1. #HEJC papers for September 2013
    by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-08-31 23:01:38
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Cited by:
  1. Rachel Griffith & Sarah Smith & Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2014. "Getting a healthy start? Nudge versus economic incentives," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/328, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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