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Welfare Grants and Their Impact on Child Health: The Case of Sri Lanka

  • Himaz, Rozana

Summary This paper asks whether an exogenous increase in income in the context of a poverty alleviation program has an impact on child anthropometric outcomes. The study looks at the Samurdhi Program in Sri Lanka, and uses household data for 1999/2000. Using propensity score matching to account for selectivity bias, the paper finds that Samurdhi improves the height-for-age z-score of a child from a grant-receiving family by roughly 0.40 standard deviations with the impact driven mainly by children between six, and 36 months of age, compared to if they did not receive the grant. It also improves weight-for-height z-scores by around 0.45 standard deviations of children aged 36-60 months. These results are important for Sri Lanka, where child nutrition is a cause for concern.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 1843-1857

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:10:p:1843-1857
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott, 2005. "Programme Evaluation with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Selective Implementation: The Mexican "PROGRESA" Impact on Child Nutrition," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 547-569, 08.
  2. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1994. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  6. Essama-Nssah, B., 2006. "Propensity score matching and policy impact analysis - a demonstration in EViews," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3877, The World Bank.
  7. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  8. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
  9. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  10. Orazio Attanasio & Alice Mesnard, 2006. "The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Programme on Consumption in Colombia," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 421-442, December.
  11. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  12. Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "Care and Nutrition: Concepts and Measurement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1309-1337, August.
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