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Saving Lives: Evidence from a Conditional Food Supplementation Program

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  • Marian Meller
  • Stephan Litschig

Abstract

Many governments in developing countries implement programs that aim to address nutrional failures in early childhood, yet evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions is scant. This paper evaluates the impact of a conditional food supplementation program on child mortality in Ecuador. The Programa de Alimentación y Nutrición Nacional (PANN) 2000 was implemented by regular staff at local public health posts and consisted of offering a free micronutrient-fortied food, Mi Papilla, for children aged 6 to 24 months in exchange for routine health check-ups for the children. Our regression discontinuity design exploits the fact that at its inception, the PANN 2000 was running for about 8 months only in the poorest communities (parroquias) of certain provinces. Our main result is that the presence of the program reduced child mortality in cohorts with 8 months of differential exposure from a level of about 2.5 percent by 1 to 1.5 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Marian Meller & Stephan Litschig, 2013. "Saving Lives: Evidence from a Conditional Food Supplementation Program," Working Papers 609, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:609
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    File URL: https://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/609.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barham, Tania, 2011. "A healthier start: The effect of conditional cash transfers on neonatal and infant mortality in rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 74-85, January.
    2. Howard White & Edoardo Masset, 2007. "Assessing interventions to improve child nutrition: a theory-based impact evaluation of the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 627-652.
    3. White, Howard, 2009. "Theory-Based Impact Evaluation," 3ie Publications 2009-3, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:3:400-405_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Monique De Haan & Erik Plug & José Rosero, 2014. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(2), pages 359-392.
    6. Emanuela Galasso & Nithin Umapathi, 2009. "Improving nutritional status through behavioural change: lessons from Madagascar," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 60-85.
    7. Linnemayr, Sebastian & Alderman, Harold, 2011. "Almost random: Evaluating a large-scale randomized nutrition program in the presence of crossover," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 106-114, September.
    8. John Newman & Menno Pradhan & Laura B. Rawlings & Geert Ridder & Ramiro Coa & Jose Luis Evia, 2002. "An Impact Evaluation of Education, Health, and Water Supply Investments by the Bolivian Social Investment Fund," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 241-274, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    early childhood nutrition; child mortality; food supplementation; regression discontinuity; Ecuador;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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