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Does Conditionality Matter for Adults' Health? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, CSEF Working Papers 01/2009;
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT We present evidence on how the requirement to attend health and nutrition sessions affects the health behaviour of adults living in households targeted by a nutritional programme in rural Mexico. The evaluation sample of the Programa de Apoyo Alimentario (PAL) is unique in having four different treatment types, which are randomly assigned to four different groups of localities, with one group designated to receive transfers but without any requirement to attend health and nutrition courses. We find that attendance at educational sessions does not affect drinking and smoking behaviour, but significantly reduces the probability of having a large waist circumference among women. We provide evidence that attending health and nutrition related courses determines a large drop in the probability that adult women have excessive calorie intake. The results suggest that lack of information can explain, at least in part, the impressive rise in female obesity in developing countries.

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    ABSTRACT: The well-known positive association between health and income in adulthood has antecedents in childhood. Not only is children's health positively related to household income, but the relationship between household income and children's health becomes more pronounced as children age. Part of the relationship can be explained by the arrival and impact of chronic conditions. Children from lowerincome households with chronic conditions have worse health than do those from higher-income households. The adverse health effects of lower income accumulate over children's lives. Part of the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status may work through the impact of parents' income on children's health.
    American Economic Review 02/2002; 92(5):1308-1334. DOI:10.2139/ssrn.275152 · 2.69 Impact Factor

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