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Schools meals, educational achievement and school competition: evidence from a randomized evaluation

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  • Vermeersch, Christel
  • Kremer, Michael
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the effects of subsidized school meals on school participation, educational achievement, and school finance in a developing country setting. The paper uses data from a program that was implemented in 25 randomly chosen preschools in a pool of 50. Children's school participation was 30 percent higher in the treatment group than in the comparison group. The meals program led to higher curriculum test scores, but only in schools where the teacher was relatively experienced prior to the program. The school meals displaced teaching time and led to larger class sizes. Despite improved incentives, teacher absenteeism remained at a high level of 30 percent. Treatment schools raised their fees, and comparison schools close to treatment schools decreased their fees. Some of the price effects are due to a combination of capacity constraints and pupil transfers that would not happen if the school meals were offered in all schools. The intention-to-treat estimator of the effect of the randomized program incorporates those price effects, and therefore it should be considered a lower bound on the effect of generalized school meals. This insight on price effects generalizes to other randomized program evaluations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3523.

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    Date of creation: 11 Feb 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3523

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    Related research

    Keywords: School Health; Public Health Promotion; Teaching and Learning; Primary Education; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Primary Education; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Teaching and Learning; Gender and Education; Adolescent Health;

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    References

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    1. Tan, Jee-Peng & Lane, Julia & Lassibille, Gerard, 1999. "Student Outcomes in Philippine Elementary Schools: An Evaluation of Four Experiments," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(3), pages 493-508, September.
    2. Jean Dr├Ęze & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1999. "School Participation in Rural India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 18, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    3. 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.
    4. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
    5. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
    6. Lokshin, Michael M. & Glinskaya, Elena & Garcia, Marito, 2000. "The effect of early childhood development programs on women's labor force participation and older children's schooling in Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2376, The World Bank.
    7. Alderman, Harold & Behrman, Jere R. & Lavy, Victor & Menon, Rekha, 1997. "Child nutrition, child health, and school enrollment : a longitudinal analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1700, The World Bank.
    8. Glewwe, Paul & Jocoby, Hanan & King, Elizabeth M., 1999. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement," FCND discussion papers 68, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Food aid and child nutrition in rural Ethiopia," FCND discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    11. Paul Glewwe & Michael Kremer & Sylvie Moulin & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Retrospective vs. prospective analyses of school inputs: The case of flip charts in kenya," Natural Field Experiments 00256, The Field Experiments Website.
    12. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 156-69, February.
    13. Moock, Peter R. & Leslie, Joanne, 1986. "Childhood malnutrition and schooling in the Terai region of Nepal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 33-52.
    14. Jamison, Dean T., 1986. "Child malnutrition and school performance in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 299-309, March.
    15. Ahmed, Akhter U. & del Ninno, Carlo, 2002. "The Food For Education program in Bangladesh," FCND briefs 138, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. 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.
    17. Hanan G. Jacoby, 1997. "Self-Selection and the Redistributive Impact of In-Kind Transfers: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 223-249.
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    Cited by:
    1. Afridi, Farzana, 2010. "Child welfare programs and child nutrition: Evidence from a mandated school meal program in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 152-165, July.
    2. Orazem, Peter & Glewwe, Paul & Patrinos, Harry, 2007. "The Benefits and Costs of Alternative Strategies to Improve Educational Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers 12853, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Orazem, Peter, 2007. "Lack of Education," Staff General Research Papers 12671, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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