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Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention

Author

Listed:
  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Helen Baker-Henningham
  • Raquel Bernal
  • Costas Meghir
  • Diana Pineda
  • Marta Rubio-Codina

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum combined with a nutritional intervention through public large-scale parenting support services for vulnerable families in rural Colombia, known as FAMI, using a clustered randomized controlled trial. We randomly assigned 87 towns in rural areas to treatment and control and 1,460 children younger than 1 year of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision and coaching of FAMI program facilitators. We assessed program effects on children’s nutritional status, and on cognitive and socio-emotional development; as well as on parental practices. The interventions had a positive and significant effect on a cognitive development factor based on the Bayley-III of 0.15 standard deviations. We also report a reduction of 5.8 percentage points in the fraction of children whose height-for-age is below -1 standard deviation. We do not find any effects on socio-emotional development. We report positive and statistically significant effects on the quality of the home environment (0.34 SD).

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio Attanasio & Helen Baker-Henningham & Raquel Bernal & Costas Meghir & Diana Pineda & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2018. "Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention," NBER Working Papers 25059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Stepwise Multiple Testing as Formalized Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1237-1282, July.
    2. Marta Rubio-Codina & Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Natalia Varela & Sally Grantham-McGregor, 2015. "The Socioeconomic Gradient of Child Development: Cross-Sectional Evidence from Children 6–42 Months in Bogota," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 464-483.
    3. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Raquel Bernal & Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Child Care Choices and Children's Cognitive Achievement: The Case of Single Mothers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 459-512.
    5. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    6. Bernal, Raquel, 2015. "The impact of a vocational education program for childcare providers on children's well-being," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 165-183.
    7. repec:wbk:wbpubs:29000 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February.
    9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Camila Fernández & Emla O. A. Fitzsimons & Sally M. Grantham-McGregor & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio-Codina, 2014. "Using the Infrastructure of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program to Deliver a Scalable Integrated Early Child Development Program in Colombia: Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 62cf429ea5b74678a945aa87b, Mathematica Policy Research.
    10. Marianne P. Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes & Thurston Domina, 2014. "Experimental Evidence on Distributional Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 20434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
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    13. Romano, Joseph P. & Wolf, Michael, 2016. "Efficient computation of adjusted p-values for resampling-based stepdown multiple testing," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 38-40.
    14. Flávio Cunha & Irma Elo & Jennifer Culhane, 2013. "Eliciting Maternal Expectations about the Technology of Cognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 19144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:118:y:2019:i:c:p:91-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Raquel Bernal & Sara María Ramírez, 2018. "Improving childcare quality at scale: the effects of “From Zero to Forever”," Documentos CEDE 016600, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    3. Milagros Nores & Raquel Bernal & W. Steve Barnett, 2018. "Center-Based Care for Infants and Toddlers: The aeioTU Randomized Trial," Documentos CEDE 016855, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    4. Wisuwat Chujan & Weerachart T. Kilenthong, 2019. "An Early Evaluation of a HighScope-Based Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand," PIER Discussion Papers 103, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Jan 2019.
    5. Pedro Carneiro & Emanuela Galasso & Italo Lopez Garcia & Paula Bedregal & Miguel Cordero, 2019. "Parental Beliefs, Investments, and Child Development: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment," Working Papers 2019-051, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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