Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi

Vera-Hernandez, Marcos (2014) Nutrition, information, and household behaviour: experimental evidence from Malawi. In: Towards a common language in statistical methodology: examples from current applications in economics and health research, 23 April 2014, London.

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Official URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp201402.pdf

Abstract

Incorrect knowledge of the health production function may lead to inefficient household choices, and thereby to the production of suboptimal levels of health. This paper studies the effects of a randomized intervention in rural Malawi which, over a six-month period, provided mothers of young infants with information on child nutrition without supplying any monetary or in-kind resources. A simple model first investigates theoretically how nutrition and other household choices including labor supply may change in response to the improved nutrition knowledge observed in the intervention areas. We then show empirically that, in line with this model, the intervention improved child nutrition, household consumption and consequently health. These increases are funded by an increase in male labor supply. We consider and rule out alternative explanations behind these findings. This paper is the first to establish that non-health choices, particularly parental labor supply,are affected by parents’ knowledge of the child health production function.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects:1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.9 Experimental Research
ID Code:3343
Deposited By: PEPA User
Deposited On:21 May 2014 14:51
Last Modified:21 May 2014 14:51

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