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Iron deficiency anemia and school participation

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  • Gustavo Bobonis
  • Edward Miguel
  • Charu Sharma

Abstract

Iron-deficiency anemia is among the world's most widespread health problems, especially for children, but it is rarely studied by economists. This paper evaluates the impact of a health intervention delivering iron supplementation and deworming drugs to 2-6 year old children through an existing pre-school network in the slums of Delhi, India. At baseline 69 percent of sample children were anemic and 30 percent had intestinal worm infections. Sample pre-schools were randomly divided into groups and gradually phased into treatment. Weight increased significantly among assisted children, and pre-school participation rates rose sharply by 5.8 percentage points - a reduction of one-fifth in school absenteeism - in the first five months of the program. Gains are largest in low socio-economic status areas. Year two estimates are similar, but two methodological problems--sample attrition, and the non-random sorting of new child cohorts into treatment groups--complicate interpretation of the later results.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Bobonis & Edward Miguel & Charu Sharma, 2004. "Iron deficiency anemia and school participation," Natural Field Experiments 00219, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00219
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    2. David S. Lee, 2002. "Trimming for Bounds on Treatment Effects with Missing Outcomes," NBER Technical Working Papers 0277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Horton, S. & Ross, J., 2003. "The economics of iron deficiency," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-75, February.
    4. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mejia, Daniel & St-Pierre, Marc, 2008. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 395-413, June.
    2. Orazem, Peter & Glewwe, Paul & Patrinos, Harry, 2007. "The Benefits and Costs of Alternative Strategies to Improve Educational Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12853, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Mauricio Cortez Reis, 2011. "Food insecurity and therelationship between household income and child health in Brazil," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 220, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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