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Saving lives: Evidence from a conditional food supplementation program

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  • Stephan Litschig
  • Marian Meller

Abstract

Many governments in developing countries implement programs that aim to address nutrional failures in early childhood, yet evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions is scant. This paper evaluates the impact of a conditional food supplementation program on child mortality in Ecuador. The Programa de Alimentación y Nutrición Nacional (PANN) 2000 was implemented by regular staff at local public health posts and consisted of offering a free micronutrient-fortified food, Mi Papilla, for children aged 6 to 24 months in exchange for routine health check-ups for the children. Our regression discontinuity design exploits the fact that at its inception, the PANN 2000 was running for about 8 months only in the poorest communities (parroquias) of certain provinces. Our main result is that the presence of the program reduced child mortality in cohorts with 8 months of differential exposure from a level of about 2.5 percent by 1 to 1.5 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Litschig & Marian Meller, 2012. "Saving lives: Evidence from a conditional food supplementation program," Economics Working Papers 1304, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1304
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    early childhood nutrition; child mortality; food supplementation; regression discontinuity; Ecuador;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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