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Healthcare at the beginning of life and child survival: Evidence from a cash transfer experiment in Nigeria

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  • Okeke, Edward N.
  • Abubakar, Isa S.

Abstract

Households in poor countries are encouraged (and sometimes coerced) to increase investments in formal health care services during pregnancy and childbirth. Is this good policy? The answer to a large extent depends on its effects on child welfare. We study the effects of a cash transfer program in Nigeria in which households were offered a payment of $14 conditioned on uptake of health services. We show that the transfer led to a large increase in uptake and a substantial increase in child survival driven by a decrease in in-utero child deaths. We present evidence suggesting that the key driver is prenatal health investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Okeke, Edward N. & Abubakar, Isa S., 2020. "Healthcare at the beginning of life and child survival: Evidence from a cash transfer experiment in Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:143:y:2020:i:c:s0304387819307011
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2019.102426
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash transfers; Maternal health services; Child mortality; Developing countries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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