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Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Burkina Faso

  • Harounan Kazianga

    ()

    (Oklahoma State University)

  • Damien de Walque

    ()

    (The World Bank, Washington DC)

  • Harold Alderman

    ()

    (The World Bank, Washington DC)

We use a prospective randomized trial to assess the impact of two school feeding schemes on educational and health outcomes of children from low income household in northern rural Burkina Faso. The two school feeding programs under consideration are, on the one hand, school meals where students are provided with lunch each school day, and, on the other hand, take home rations which provide girls with 10 kg of cereal flour each month, conditional on 90 percent attendance rate. After the program ran for one academic year, we found that both school feeding schemes increased girls’ enrollment by 5 to 6 percentage points. While we did not observe any significant impact on raw scores on mathematics, we observed that the time-adjusted scores on mathematics improved slightly for girls. An unexpected lower average absenteeism was observed. We argue that this reflects the absence of an active labor market and the fact that households are labor constrained and/or child labor is complementary to adult labor. We show that the interventions caused absenteeism to increase in households who are low in child labor supply while absenteeism decreased for households which have a relatively large child labor supply, consistent with the labor constraints. This, in turn, explains the mixed impacts on learning outcomes that we observed. Finally, for younger siblings of beneficiaries, aged between 12 and 60 months who were not in school, take home rations have increased weight-for-age by .38 standard deviations and weight-for-height by .33 standard deviations. In contrast, school meals did not have any significant impact on the nutrition of younger children.

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File URL: http://spears.okstate.edu/ecls-working-papers/files/0904-Kazianga-SchoolFeeding.pdf
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Paper provided by Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 0904.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:okl:wpaper:0904
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://spears.okstate.edu/ecls-working-papers/

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  1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2006. "Early childhood nutrition, schooling, and sibling inequality in a dynamic context: evidence from South Africa," FCND briefs 203, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Ross, Thomas W, 1991. "On the Relative Efficiency of Cash Transfers and Subsidies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 485-96, July.
  4. Harold Alderman & Johannes Hoogeveen & Mariacristina Rossi, 2008. "Preschool Nutrition and Subsequent Schooling Attainment: Longitudinal Evidence from Tanzania," CeRP Working Papers 75, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  5. Ahmed, Akhter U. & del Ninno, Carlo, 2002. "The Food For Education program in Bangladesh," FCND discussion papers 138, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 156-69, February.
  7. Gary Burtless, 1995. "The Case for Randomized Field Trials in Economic and Policy Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 63-84, Spring.
  8. 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.
  9. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.
  10. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-67, May.
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  12. 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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