IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alderman, Harold & Hentschel, Jesko & Sabates, Ricardo, 2001. "With the help of one's neighbors - externalities in the production of nutrition in Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2627, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2627

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas, Duncan & Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John, 1996. "Public policy and anthropometric outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 155-192, August.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-1749, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence James & Alderman, Harold & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Reducing child undernutrition," FCND briefs 137, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Shi, Anqing, 2000. "How access to urban potable water and sewerage connections affects child mortality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2274, The World Bank.
    6. 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.
    7. Gragnolati, Michele, 1999. "Children's growth and poverty in rural Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2193, The World Bank.
    8. 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.
    9. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
    10. 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.
    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. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maddox, Bryan, 2007. "Worlds Apart? Ethnographic Reflections on "Effective Literacy" and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 532-541, March.
    2. Francesco Burchi, 2012. "Whose education affects a child’s nutritional status? From parents' to household's education," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(23), pages 681-704, November.
    3. Alderman, Harold & Headey, Derek D., 2017. "How Important is Parental Education for Child Nutrition?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 448-464.
    4. Makate, Marshall & Makate, Clifton, 2016. "The causal effect of increased primary schooling on child mortality in Malawi: Universal primary education as a natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 72-83.
    5. Outes, Ingo & Porter, Catherine, 2013. "Catching up from early nutritional deficits? Evidence from rural Ethiopia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 148-163.
    6. Ana Maria Osorio & Catalina Bolancé & Nyovane Madise & Katharina Rathmann, 2013. "Social Determinants of Child Health in Colombia: Can Community Education Moderate the Effect of Family Characteristics?," Working Papers XREAP2013-02, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Mar 2013.
    7. Escobal, Javier & Saavedra, Jaime & Suárez, Pablo, 2005. "The Interaction of Public Assets, Private Assets and Community Characteristics and its Effect on Early Childhood Height-for-Age in Peru," MPRA Paper 56478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lars Osberg & Jiaping Shao & Kuan Xu, 2009. "The growth of poor children in China 1991–2000: why food subsidies may matter," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 89-108, April.
    9. Øystein Kravdal & Ivy Kodzi, 2011. "Children's stunting in sub-Saharan Africa: Is there an externality effect of high fertility?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 25(18), pages 565-594, September.
    10. Firestone, Rebecca & Punpuing, Sureeporn & Peterson, Karen E. & Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Gortmaker, Steven L., 2011. "Child overweight and undernutrition in Thailand: Is there an urban effect?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(9), pages 1420-1428, May.
    11. World Bank, 2002. "Poverty Assessment : Poverty in Pakistan - Vulnerabilities, Social Caps, and Rural Dynamics," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15335, The World Bank.
    12. Steven Block, 2002. "Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling in the Demand for Child Micronutrient Status," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 10, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2627. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.