The Role of Information and Cash Transfers on Early Childhood Development: Evidence from Nepal

Michael Levere, Gayatri Acharya, Prashant Bharadwaj

NBER Working Paper No. 22640
Issued in September 2016
NBER Program(s):Children, Development Economics

While substantial progress has been made in combating malnutrition at a global level, chronic maternal and child malnutrition remains a serious problem in many parts of the developing world. In this paper, using a randomized control trial design in Nepal, we evaluate a program that provided information on best practices regarding child care and cash to families in extremely poor areas with pregnant mothers and/or children below the age of 2. We find significant and sizable impacts of the information plus cash intervention on maternal knowledge, behavior, child development, and nutrition. The size of these impacts along some measures of knowledge and development are significantly different from the information only intervention group suggesting a potential role for providing a short term cash safety net along with information to tackle the problem of malnutrition.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22640

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