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The impacts of a multifaceted pre-natal intervention on human capital accumulation in early life


  • Pedro Carneiro

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Lucy Kraftman

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Giacomo Mason

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Lucie Moore

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Imran Rasul

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Molly Scott

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)


We evaluate an intervention targeting early life nutrition and well-being for households in extreme poverty in Northern Nigeria. The intervention leads to large and sustained improvements in children’s anthropometric and health outcomes, including an 8% reduction in stunting four years post-intervention. These impacts are partly driven by information-related channels. However, the certain and substantial ‡ow of cash transfers is also key. They induce positive labor supply responses among women, and enables them to undertake productive investments in livestock. These provide protein rich diets for children, and generate higher household earnings streams long after the cash transfers expire.

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  • Pedro Carneiro & Lucy Kraftman & Giacomo Mason & Lucie Moore & Imran Rasul & Molly Scott, 2020. "The impacts of a multifaceted pre-natal intervention on human capital accumulation in early life," CeMMAP working papers CWP61/20, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:61/20

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    2. Grosch, Kerstin & Häckl, Simone & Kocher, Martin G., 2022. "Closing the gender STEM gap," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 329, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Duncan Webb, 2022. "Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia," PSE Working Papers halshs-03542607, HAL.
    4. Johannes M. Bos & Akib Khan & Saravana Ravindran & Abu S. Shonchoy, 2021. "Early Childhood Human Capital Formation at Scale," Working Papers 2115, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    5. Monteiro Amaral,Sofia Fernando & Dinarte Diaz,Lelys Ileana & Dominguez,Patricio & Perez-Vincent,Santiago M., 2021. "Helping Families Help Themselves ? Heterogeneous Effects of a Digital Parenting Program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9850, The World Bank.
    6. Duncan Webb, 2022. "Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia," Working Papers halshs-03542607, HAL.
    7. Kondylis,Florence,Loeser,John Ashton, 2021. "Intervention Size and Persistence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9769, The World Bank.
    8. Siddique, Abu & Islam, Asad & Mozumder, Tanvir Ahmed & Rahman, Tabassum & Shatil, Tanvir, 2022. "Forced Displacement, Mental Health, and Child Development: Evidence from the Rohingya Refugees," SocArXiv b4fc7, Center for Open Science.
    9. Grosch, Kerstin & Haeckl, Simone & Kocher , Martin G., 2022. "Closing the gender STEM gap. A large-scale randomized-controlled trial in elementary schools," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2022/4, University of Stavanger.
    10. Orazio Attanasio & Sarah Cattan & Costas Meghir, 2021. "Early Childhood Development, Human Capital and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 29362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lenel, Friederike & Priebe, Jan & Satriawan, Elan & Syamsulhakim, Ekki, 2022. "Can mHealth campaigns improve CCT outcomes? Experimental evidence from sms-nudges in Indonesia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    12. de Groot, Richard & Yablonski, Jennifer & Valli, Elsa, 2022. "The impact of cash and health insurance on child nutrition during the first 1000 days: Evidence from Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
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    14. Fink, Günther & Venkataramani, Atheendar S. & Zanolini, Arianna, 2021. "Early life adversity, biological adaptation, and human capital: evidence from an interrupted malaria control program in Zambia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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