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Do you get what you pay for with school-based health programs? Evidence from a child nutrition experiment in rural China

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  • Sylvia, Sean
  • Luo, Renfu
  • Zhang, Linxiu
  • Shi, Yaojiang
  • Medina, Alexis
  • Rozelle, Scott

Abstract

This study uses a randomized controlled trial of a school-based anemia reduction program in rural China to examine how increased school emphasis on health promotion affects academic performance. Although education and health promotion are complementary functions of schools, they do compete for finite school resources. We compare the effects of a traditional program that provided only information about anemia and subsidies to an otherwise identical program that included performance incentives for school principals based on school-level anemia prevalence. By the end of the trial, exam scores among students who were anemic at baseline improved under both versions of the program, but scores among students in the incentive group who were healthy at baseline fell relative to healthy students in the control group. Results suggest that performance incentives to improve student health increase the impact of school-based programs on student health outcomes, but may also lead to reallocation of school resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvia, Sean & Luo, Renfu & Zhang, Linxiu & Shi, Yaojiang & Medina, Alexis & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "Do you get what you pay for with school-based health programs? Evidence from a child nutrition experiment in rural China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:1-12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.07.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hua Zhou & Di Mo & Renfu Luo & Ai Yue & Scott Rozelle, 2016. "Are Children with Siblings Really More Vulnerable Than Only Children in Health, Cognition and Non-cognitive Outcomes? Evidence from a Multi-province Dataset in China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(3), pages 3-17, May.
    2. Grant Miller & Kimberly Singer Babiarz, 2013. "Pay-for-Performance Incentives in Low- and Middle-Income Country Health Programs," NBER Working Papers 18932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Huber, Laura Rosendahl & Sloof, Randolph & Van Praag, Mirjam, 2017. "The effect of incentives on sustainable behavior: evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 92-106.
    4. Hannum, Emily & Hu, Li-Chung, 2017. "Chronic undernutrition, short-term hunger, and student functioning in rural northwest China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 26-38.
    5. Mo, Di & Luo, Renfu & Liu, Chengfang & Zhang, Huiping & Zhang, Linxiu & Medina, Alexis & Rozelle, Scott, 2014. "Text Messaging and its Impacts on the Health and Education of the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 766-780.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Human capital; Teacher salaries; Resource allocation; Educational economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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