Nutritional and Schooling Impact of a Cash Transfer Program in Ethiopia: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure

Mengesha Yayo Negasi, AddisAbaba Science and Technology University
Mariapia Mendola, University of Milano_Bicocca

The rate of malnutrition among under-five children in the Ethiopia is among the highest in the world and Sub-Saharan Africa. Malnutrition and deprivation have devastating direct effects on children and pregnant women as well as indirect socio-economic impacts. Since 2005 the Government of Ethiopia has been implementing a large-scale social protection program throughout the country, with the aim to improve nutrition and food security, decrease poverty and, thereby, enhance human capital accumulation. This paper investigates the direct impact of this program on long-term anthropometric measures of nutritional status and the indirect effects on educational attainment. Our research design combines differences in program intensity across regions with differences across cohorts induced by the timing of the program. Difference-indifference estimates suggest that early childhood exposure to the program leads to better nutritional status and hence higher human capital accumulation. Results are robust to different measures of program intensity, estimation samples, empirical models and some placebo tests.

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  Presented in Session 96. Evaluation of Cash Transfers Interventions