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The Limits of Health and Nutrition Education: Evidence from Three Randomized-Controlled Trials in Rural China

Author

Listed:
  • Renfu Luo
  • Yaojiang Shi
  • Linxiu Zhang
  • Huiping Zhang
  • Grant Miller
  • Alexis Medina
  • Scott Rozelle

Abstract

This article studies whether or not health education programs targeting childhood anemia are sufficient for changing health behavior and nutrition in rural China. We conducted three different randomized-controlled trials of single and multiple face-to-face education sessions with parents and distributed written health education materials--and compare our results with a simple vitamin distribution program. Across all three studies, we find little evidence of changes in blood hemoglobin concentration or anemia status. In contrast, in our two studies that also examined a multivitamin supplementation intervention, we find meaningful reductions in anemia. (JEL codes: I12, I15, O15) Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Renfu Luo & Yaojiang Shi & Linxiu Zhang & Huiping Zhang & Grant Miller & Alexis Medina & Scott Rozelle, 2012. "The Limits of Health and Nutrition Education: Evidence from Three Randomized-Controlled Trials in Rural China," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(2), pages 385-404, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:58:y:2012:i:2:p:385-404
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifs023
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marion Krämer & Santosh Kumar & Sebastian Vollmer, "undated". "Anemia, diet, and cognitive development: Impact of health information on diet quality and child nutrition in rural India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 265, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. You, Jing & Imai, Katsushi S. & Gaiha, Raghav, 2016. "Declining Nutrient Intake in a Growing China: Does Household Heterogeneity Matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 171-191.
    3. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2016. "Nutrition, information and household behavior: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 113-126.
    4. Cohen, Jessica & Saran, Indrani, 2018. "The impact of packaging and messaging on adherence to malaria treatment: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 68-95.
    5. Volkert, Jürgen & Strotmann, Harald & Moczadlo, Regina, 2014. "Sustainable Human Development: Corporate challenges and potentials. The case of Bayer CropScience's cotton seed production in rural Karnataka (India)," UFZ Discussion Papers 5/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    6. 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.
    7. Gao, Shen & Yang, Meredith & Wang, Xiaohong & Min, Wenbin & Rozelle, Scott, 2019. "Peer relations and dropout behavior: Evidence from junior high school students in northwest rural China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 134-143.
    8. Daniel Bennett & Asjad Naqvi & Wolf‐Peter Schmidt, 2018. "Learning, Hygiene and Traditional Medicine," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 545-574, July.
    9. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2012. "Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi," CEPR Discussion Papers 8915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Adewale Oparinde & Abhijit Banerji & Ekin Birol & Paul Ilona, 2016. "Information and consumer willingness to pay for biofortified yellow cassava: evidence from experimental auctions in Nigeria," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 215-233, March.
    11. Beltramo, Theresa & Blalock, Garrick & Levine, David I. & Simons, Andrew M., 2015. "The effect of marketing messages and payment over time on willingness to pay for fuel-efficient cookstoves," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 333-345.
    12. 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

    JEL classification:

    • 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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