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With the help of one's neighbors - externalities in the production of nutrition in Peru

  • Alderman, Harold
  • Hentschel, Jesko
  • Sabates, Ricardo

Both public, and private resources contribute to children's nutritional status. And investments by one household may improve health in other neighborhood households, by improving the sanitation environment, and increasing shared knowledge. The authors measure the externalities of investments in nutrition, by indicatingthe impact of women's education in Peruvian neighborhoods, on children's nutrition in other households, after controlling for those households'education, and income. They find that in rural areas this shared knowledge has a significant impact on nutrition. The coefficient of an increase in the average education in the neighborhood is appreciably larger than the coefficient of education in isolation. That is, educating women in rural areas, improves all children's nutritional status, even for those whose caregivers are themselves not educated. In both urban, and rural areas, they observe externalities from investments in sanitation made by neighboring households. They do not find the same externalities in the case of investments, only in the household water supply. There is a direct link between the caregivers'education, and their children's health status. Education transmits information about health, and nutrition. It teaches numeracy, and literacy, which help caregivers read labels, and instructions. Bu exposing caregivers to new environments, it makes them receptive to modern medical treatment. It gives women the confidence to participate in decision-making within a household, and it gives men, and women the confidence to interact with health care professionals.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2627.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2627
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  1. Barrera, Albino, 1990. "The role of maternal schooling and its interaction with public health programs in child health production," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-91, January.
  2. Shi, Anqing, 2000. "How access to urban potable water and sewerage connections affects child mortality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2274, The World Bank.
  3. Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
  4. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
  5. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-49, November.
  6. Thomas, D & Lavy, V & Strauss, J, 1996. "Public Policy and Anthropometric Outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 96-19, RAND - Reprint Series.
  7. Gragnolati, Michele, 1999. "Children's growth and poverty in rural Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2193, The World Bank.
  8. Alderman, Harold & Garcia, Marito, 1994. "Food Security and Health Security: Explaining the Levels of Nutritional Status in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(3), pages 485-507, April.
  9. Haddad, Lawrence James & Alderman, Harold & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Reducing child undernutrition," FCND discussion papers 137, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    • Haddad, Lawrence James & Alderman, Harold & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Reducing child undernutrition," FCND briefs 137, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
  11. Thomas, D. & Lavy, V. & Strauss, J., 1992. "Public Policy and Anthropometric Outcomes in Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 89, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  12. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1988. "The Stability of Household Production Technology: A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 535-549.
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