The Effect of Early Interventions in Health and Nutrition on On-Time School Enrollment: Evidence from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico
This article assesses whether early intervention to improve children’s health and nutrition increases the probability of enrolling in primary school on time. Using experimental data from the Mexican conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, Oportunidades, a cross-sectional double-difference estimator on observations from two age cohorts of children is used to identify the impact of early intervention. The results indicate that early health and nutrition interventions can have a positive impact on the timing of enrollment and that caregiver characteristics affect the magnitude of the impact. Early intervention also appears to decrease days of school missed. Overall the results indicate that the full impact of CCT programs on education cannot be measured in the short run as benefits of early health and nutrition interventions may be also felt in the distant future.
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