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Improving nutritional status through behavioral change : lessons from Madagascar

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  • Galasso, Emanuela
  • Umapathi, Nithin

Abstract

This paper provides evidence of the effects of a large-scale intervention that focuses on the quality of nutritional and child care inputs during the early stages of life. The empirical strategy uses a combination of double-difference and weighting estimators in a longitudinal survey to address the purposive placement of participating communities and estimate the effect of the availability of the program at the community level on nutritional outcomes. The authors find that the program helped 0-5 year old children in the participating communities to bridge the gap in weight for age z-scores and the incidence of underweight. The program also had significant effects in protecting long-term nutritional outcomes (height for age z-scores and incidence of stunting) against an underlying negative trend in the absence of the program. Importantly, the effect of the program exhibits substantial heterogeneity: gains in nutritional outcomes are larger for more educated mothers and for villages with better infrastructure. The program enables the analysis to isolate responsiveness to information provision and disentangle the effect of knowledge in the education effect on nutritional outcomes. The results are suggestive of important complementarities among child care, maternal education, and community infrastructure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4424.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4424

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Keywords: Population Policies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Early Child and Children's Health; Housing&Human Habitats; Nutrition;

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  1. Guido Imbens, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 1166, Econometric Society.
  2. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  3. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
  4. Alderman, Harold, 2007. "Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1376-1389, August.
  5. Galasso, Emanuela & Yau, Jeffrey, 2006. "Learning through monitoring : lessons from a large-scale nutrition program in Madagascar," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4058, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Emla Fitzsimons & Bansi Malde & Alice Mesnard & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2014. "Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W14/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Stephan Litschig & Marian Meller, 2012. "Saving lives: Evidence from a conditional food supplementation program," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1304, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2013.
  3. Shiladitya Chatterjee & Amitava Mukherjee & Raghbendra Jha, . "Approaches to Combat Hunger in Asia and the Pacific," MPDD Working Paper Series WP/10/10, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  4. Vinod Thomas & Xubei Luo, 2011. "Overlooked Links in the Results Chain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2347, August.
  5. Marian Meller & Stephan Litschig, 2013. "Saving Lives: Evidence from a Conditional Food Supplementation Program," Working Papers 609, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Alderman, Harold, 2007. "Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1376-1389, August.
  7. Maryanne Sharp & Ioana Kruse, 2011. "Health, Nutrition, and Population in Madagascar 2000-09," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 5957, August.
  8. Álvarez, Begoña & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2013. "Exploiting subjective information to understand impoverished children's use of health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1194-1204.

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