Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1975740
 


 



The Impact of School Lunches on Primary School Enrollment: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Scheme


Rajshri Jayaraman


ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Dora Simroth


ESMT European School of Management and Technology

December 22, 2011

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3679

Abstract:     
At the end of 2001, the Indian Supreme Court issued a directive ordering states to institute school lunches – known locally as 'midday meals' – in government primary schools. This paper provides a large-scale assessment of the enrollment effects of India’s midday meal scheme, which offers warm lunches, free of cost, to 120 million primary school children across India and is the largest school feeding program in the world. To isolate the causal effect of the policy, we make use of staggered implementation across Indian states in government but not private schools. Using a panel data set of almost 500,000 schools observed annually from 2002 to 2004, we find that midday meals result in substantial increases in primary school enrollment, driven by early primary school responses to the program. Our results are robust to a wide range of specification tests.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: primary school enrollment, school lunches, natural experiment, ITT

JEL Classification: I200

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Date posted: December 22, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Jayaraman, Rajshri and Simroth, Dora, The Impact of School Lunches on Primary School Enrollment: Evidence from India's Midday Meal Scheme (December 22, 2011). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3679. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1975740

Contact Information

Rajshri Jayaraman (Contact Author)
ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )
Schlossplatz 1
Berlin, Berlin 10178
Germany
Dora Simroth
ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )
Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany
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