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Financial incentives for maternal health: Impact of a national programme in Nepal

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  • Powell-Jackson, Timothy
  • Hanson, Kara

Abstract

Financial incentives are increasingly being advocated as an effective means to influence health-related behaviours. There is, however, limited evidence on whether they work in low-income countries, particularly when implemented at scale. This paper explores the impact of a national programme in Nepal that provides cash incentives to women conditional on them giving birth in a health facility. Using propensity score matching methods, we find that the programme had a positive, albeit modest, effect on the utilisation of maternity services. Women who had heard of the SDIP before childbirth were 4.2 percentage points (17 percent) more likely to deliver with a skilled attendant. The treatment effect is positively associated with the size of the financial package offered by the programme and the quality of care in facilities. Despite the positive effect on those exposed to the SDIP, low coverage of the programme suggests that few women actually benefited in the first few years.

Suggested Citation

  • Powell-Jackson, Timothy & Hanson, Kara, 2012. "Financial incentives for maternal health: Impact of a national programme in Nepal," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 271-284.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:271-284
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Badiuzzaman & Syed Mansoob Murshed, 2016. "Impact of post-conflict development interventions on maternal healthcare utilization," WIDER Working Paper Series 082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Elizabeth Tilley & Isabel Günther, 2016. "The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer on Toilet Use in eThekwini, South Africa," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-16, October.
    3. Witter, Sophie & Somanathan, Aparnaa, 2012. "Demand-side financing for sexual and reproductive health services in low and middle-income countries : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6213, The World Bank.
    4. Díaz, Juan José & Saldarriaga, Víctor, 2017. "Promoting prenatal health care in poor rural areas through conditional cash transfers: evidence from JUNTOS in Peru," Avances de Investigación 0025, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
    5. Joshi, Shareen & Sivaram, Anusuya, 2014. "Does it Pay to Deliver? An Evaluation of India’s Safe Motherhood Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 434-447.
    6. Fredrick Manang & Chikako Yamauchi, 2015. "The impact of access to health facilities on maternal care use and health status: Evidence from longitudinal data from rural Uganda," GRIPS Discussion Papers 15-19, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    7. Gopalan, Saji S. & Mutasa, Ronald & Friedman, Jed & Das, Ashis, 2014. "Health sector demand-side financial incentives in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review on demand- and supply-side effects," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 72-83.
    8. Coffey, Diane, 2014. "Costs and consequences of a cash transfer for hospital births in a rural district of Uttar Pradesh, India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 89-96.
    9. Mohamad A. Khaled & Paul Makdissi & Rami Tabri & Myra Yazbeck, 2016. "A Framework for Testing the Equality Between the Health Concentration Curve and the 45-Degree Line," Discussion Papers Series 577, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    10. Hartwig, R. & Sparrow, R.A. & Budiyati, S. & Yumna, A. & Warda, N. & Suryahadi, A. & Bedi, A.S., 2015. "Effects of decentralized health care financing on maternal care in Indonesia," ISS Working Papers - General Series 607, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    I10; I18; Impact evaluation; Financial incentives; Demand for health care; Maternal health; Nepal;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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