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Evidence of Intrahousehold Flypaper Effects from a Nutrition Intervention in Rural Guatemala

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  • Mahnaz Islam
  • John Hoddinott

Abstract

Programs designed to improve child nutrition are widespread. The ability of such programs to improve the nutrition of individual children depends on how households choose to allocate resources among their members; interventions that target specific individuals in a household may be neutralized by reallocations of the resource away from the child. On the other hand, the transfer may not be reallocated away, a phenomenon called the intrahousehold "flypaper effect" because the transfer "sticks" to the child. This article contributes to the literature on flypaper effects using data from a nutrition intervention fielded in rural Guatemala. In this study, villages were randomly assigned to receive either a calorie and protein-dense drink called atole or a control beverage, fresco. All village members were eligible to consume these drinks. Using these data, we show that while there is some reallocation of food away from the child at home, total caloric intake rises. About half of the calories children receive from the atole supplement are crowded out at home. By contrast, approximately 80% of the protein that they consume from the supplement sticks with them. Even if the quantity of food consumed at home is reduced, the quality of their diet may still improve substantially. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Mahnaz Islam & John Hoddinott, 2009. "Evidence of Intrahousehold Flypaper Effects from a Nutrition Intervention in Rural Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 215-238, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2009:i:2:p:215-238
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. World Bank, 2006. "Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development : A Strategy for Large Scale Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7409, August.
    2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    3. Maluccio, John A. & Hoddinott, John & Behrman, Jere R. & Martorell, Reynaldo & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Stein, Aryeh D., 2006. "The impact of an experimental nutritional intervention in childhood on education among Guatemalan adults:," FCND discussion papers 207, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    2. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio, & Erica Soler-Hampejsek & Emily L. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Manuel Ramirez-Zea & Aryeh D. Stein, 2006. "What Determines Adult Cognitive Skills? Impacts of Pre-Schooling, Schooling and Post-Schooling Experiences in Guatemala," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-027, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Jesse Cunha, 2010. "Testing Paternalism: Cash vs. In-kind Transfer in Rural Mexico," Discussion Papers 09-021, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Griffen, Andrew S., 2016. "Height and calories in early childhood," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 55-69.
    5. Luc Christiaensen & Lei Pan, 2010. "Transfers and Development: Easy Come, Easy Go?," WIDER Working Paper Series 125, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.

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