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School Feeding Programs and Development: Are We Framing the Question Correctly?


  • Harold Alderman
  • Donald Bundy


School feeding programs are politically popular interventions. They are, nevertheless, difficult to assess in terms of effectiveness since their impact is partially on education and partially on school health. They are, additionally, a means to augment consumption by vulnerable populations. The authors look at recent evidence from in-depth studies and argue that while school feeding programs can influence the education of school children and, to a lesser degree, augment nutrition for families of beneficiaries, they are best viewed as transfer programs that can provide a social safety net and help promote human capital investments. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold Alderman & Donald Bundy, 2012. "School Feeding Programs and Development: Are We Framing the Question Correctly?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(2), pages 204-221, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:27:y:2012:i:2:p:204-221

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2005. "Do Intra-Household Effects Generate the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 552-568.
    2. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
    3. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
    4. Harounan Kazianga & Damien de Walque & Harold Alderman, 2009. "Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Burkina Faso," Economics Working Paper Series 0904, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    5. Afridi, Farzana, 2010. "Child welfare programs and child nutrition: Evidence from a mandated school meal program in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 152-165, July.
    6. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.
    7. Quentin Wodon & Hassan Zaman, 2010. "Higher Food Prices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty Impact and Policy Responses," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 157-176, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gentilini,Ugo, 2016. "The revival of the"cash versus food"debate : new evidence for an old quandary ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7584, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank Group, 2016. "Cash Transfers in Humanitarian Contexts," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24699, The World Bank.
    3. Gentilini, Ugo, 2014. "Our daily bread : what is the evidence on comparing cash versus food transfers?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 89502, The World Bank.
    4. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0712-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chakraborty, Tanika & Jayaraman, Rajshri, 2016. "School Feeding and Learning Achievement: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Program," IZA Discussion Papers 10086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Alok Bhargava, 2015. "Diet Quality, Child Health, and Food Policies in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 247-276.
    7. Lentz, Erin C. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2013. "The economics and nutritional impacts of food assistance policies and programs," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-163.
    8. Tanika Chakraborty & Rajshri Jayaraman, 2016. "School Feeding and Learning Achievement: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 5994, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Renfu Luo & Grant Miller & Scott Rozelle & Sean Sylvia & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2015. "Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid Like CEOs? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China," NBER Working Papers 21302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Sujata Balasubramanian, 2015. "Is the PDS Already a Cash Transfer? Rethinking India's Food Subsidy Policies," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-16, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2015.
    11. Jennings, Zellynne, 2016. "Impact of the provision of school lunch on attendance in remote rural Jamaican primary schools," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 74-81.

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