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Nutrition, Information and Household Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Malawi

Fitzsimons, Emla, Malde, Bansi, Mesnard, Alice, Vera-Hernandez, Marcos (2016) Nutrition, Information and Household Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Malawi. Journal of Development Economics, (122). pp. 113-126. ISSN 0304-3878. (doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.05.002) (KAR id:57887)


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 that, 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 the intervention improved child nutrition, household food consumption and consequently health. We find evidence that labor supply increased, which might have contributed to partially fund the increase in food consumption. This paper is the first to study whether non-health choices, particularly parental labor supply, might be affected by parents' knowledge of the child health production function.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.05.002
Uncontrolled keywords: Infant health; Health information; Labor supply; Cluster randomized control trial
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ755 Popular works. Guidebook for parents > HQ755.8 Parents. Parenthood
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Bansi Malde
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 11:49 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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