Oportunidades and its Impact on Child Nutrition

Maria G. Farfan, Duke University
Maria Genoni, Duke University
Luis Rubalcava, Spectron Desarrollo S.C. and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Graciela M. Teruel, Universidad Iberoamericana
Duncan Thomas, Duke University

Using population-level data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS), we examine the impact on child health of a large-scale conditional cash transfer program, Oportunidades. This innovative anti-poverty program puts additional resources in the hands of women and their families and encourages parents to invest in human capital of their children. Program income accounts for about 25% of total resources in beneficiary households. The causal impact of the program on child health is isolated by exploiting insights from the biology of child growth in combination with the timing of the roll-out of Oportunidades and the panel dimension of MxFLS. Height for age among children exposed during the first 3 years of life is contrasted with similar children who were not exposed.

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Presented in Session 123: The Effect of Transfer Payments on Household Decisions