Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Health and Nutrition

Bhagowalia, Priya (2020): Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Health and Nutrition.

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This study examines the impact of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) for on sex ratios, health and nutrition of children. The main hypothesis is that CCTs may alter the perceived economic value of girls relative to boys, leading to more favorable sex ratios and better nutrition. Several studies have tried to explain the puzzling persistence of malnutrition inspite of rapid increases in economic growth and the reasons range from decreases in physical activity (Deaton and Dreze 2009) to the “South Asian Enigma” (Ramalingaswami, et al, 1997). The “South Asian enigma” underscores gender disparities as the main reason for the poor nutritional status despite high growth (Smith et al, 2003). We use data from the National Family Health Surveys (NFHS 2005-06 and 2015-16) to explore if cash transfer schemes for education make a positive and significant difference to sex ratios, nutrition and health seeking behavior. Our results suggest that cash transfer schemes have a positive but moderate impact on nutrition among eligible and non-eligible households, a positive impact on health seeking behaviors and that there are regional variations related to the implementation of the scheme

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