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Saving Lives: Evidence from a Conditional Food Supplementation Program

  • Marian Meller
  • Stephan Litschig

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.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 609.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:609
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  1. 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.
  2. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik & Rosero, José, 2012. "Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador," IZA Discussion Papers 6706, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. White, Howard, 2009. "Theory-Based Impact Evaluation," 3ie Publications 2009-3, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
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