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Student responses to the changing content of school meals in India

Author

Listed:
  • Farzana Afridi

    (Indian Statistical Institute)

  • Bidisha Barooah

    (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie))

  • Rohini Somanathan

    (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics)

Abstract

Can countries with binding budget constraints increase the benefits of school transfers through better program design? We use a cost-neutral change in the design of India's school meal program to study this question. Municipal schools in Delhi switched from packaged snacks to cooked meals in 2003, with no change in payments to meal providers. We use variation in the timing of this transition and child-level panel data to estimate a 3 percentage point rise in average monthly attendance in response to the new program. The effects are largest for early grades, morning school shifts and schools serving diverse menus.

Suggested Citation

  • Farzana Afridi & Bidisha Barooah & Rohini Somanathan, 2016. "Student responses to the changing content of school meals in India," Working papers 264, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:264
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 158-175, March.
    2. Abhijeet Singh & Albert Park & Stefan Dercon, 2014. "School Meals as a Safety Net: An Evaluation of the Midday Meal Scheme in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(2), pages 275-306.
    3. Afridi, Farzana, 2010. "Child welfare programs and child nutrition: Evidence from a mandated school meal program in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 152-165, July.
    4. Harounan Kazianga & Damien de Walque & Harold Alderman, 2012. "Educational and Child Labour Impacts of Two Food-for-Education Schemes: Evidence from a Randomised Trial in Rural Burkina Faso-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(5), pages -760, November.
    5. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    6. Harold Alderman & Daniel O. Gilligan & Kim Lehrer, 2012. "The Impact of Food for Education Programs on School Participation in Northern Uganda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(1), pages 187-218.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    school meals; attendance; program design;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook

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