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Impacts of Double-Fortified Salt on Anemia and Cognition: Four-Year Follow-up Evidence from a School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India


  • von Grafenstein, Liza

    (University of Göttingen)

  • Kumar, Abhijeet

    (University of Göttingen)

  • Kumar, Santosh

    (University of Notre Dame)

  • Vollmer, Sebastian

    (University of Goettingen)


Long-term follow-up of early childhood health interventions is important for human capital accumulation. We provide experimental evidence on child health and human capital outcomes from the longer-term follow-up of a school-based nutrition intervention in India. Using panel data, we examine the effectiveness of the use of iron and iodine fortified salt in school lunches to reduce anemia among school children. After four years of treatment, treated children, on average, have higher hemoglobin levels and a lower likelihood of anemia relative to the control group. Interestingly, the intervention did not have any impact on cognitive and educational outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • von Grafenstein, Liza & Kumar, Abhijeet & Kumar, Santosh & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2021. "Impacts of Double-Fortified Salt on Anemia and Cognition: Four-Year Follow-up Evidence from a School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India," IZA Discussion Papers 14627, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14627

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
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    6. Banerjee, Abhijit & Barnhardt, Sharon & Duflo, Esther, 2018. "Can iron-fortified salt control anemia? Evidence from two experiments in rural Bihar," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 127-146.
    7. Alberto Chong & Isabelle Cohen & Erica Field & Eduardo Nakasone & Maximo Torero, 2016. "Iron Deficiency and Schooling Attainment in Peru," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 222-255, October.
    8. Berry, James & Mehta, Saurabh & Mukherjee, Priya & Ruebeck, Hannah & Shastry, Gauri Kartini, 2020. "Implementation and effects of India's national school-based iron supplementation program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    9. Li, Lili & Huang, Lei & Shi, Yaojiang & Luo, Renfu & Yang, Meredith & Rozelle, Scott, 2018. "Anemia and student's educational performance in rural Central China: Prevalence, correlates and impacts," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 283-293.
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    More about this item


    anemia; children; double-fortified salt; cognition; mid-day meal; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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