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Empowering women: how Mexico's conditional cash transfer programme raised prenatal care quality and birth weight

  • Sarah Barber
  • Paul Gertler

Data from a controlled randomised trial are used to estimate the effect of Mexico's conditional cash transfer programme, Oportunidades, on birth outcomes, and to examine the pathways by which it works. Birth weights average 127.3 grams higher, and low birth weight incidence is 44.5 per cent lower among beneficiary mothers. Better birth outcomes are explained entirely by better quality prenatal care. Oportunidades affected quality through empowering women with information about adequate healthcare content to expect better care, and with skills and social support to negotiate better care. Efforts to empower the less well-off are necessary for public services to fully benefit the poor.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Effectiveness.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 51-73

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:51-73
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