Behavior Change for Early Childhood Nutrition: Effectiveness of Health Worker Training Depends on Maternal Information in a Randomized Control Trial

30 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016

See all articles by Prakarsh Singh

Prakarsh Singh

Amherst College - Department of Economics

William A. Masters

Tufts University - Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Tufts University - Department of Economics

Abstract

We carry out a randomized control trial to test for interaction effects between training state-employed caregivers and providing mothers information to improve nutrition of preschool children aged 2-6 in rural India. Salaried caregivers are supposed to provide a mid-day meal and also advise mothers on health and nutrition for their child. Our one-day caregiver training covered basic health and nutrition facts with advice on how to communicate with mothers for behavior change at home. We find that this training was effective only when we provided the mothers with an independent source of nutrition information, and that the combined treatment was effective only among younger caregivers. Results are consistent with behavior change as a costly investment that is more attractive when done earlier in life, and greater response to information that is confirmed and reinforced from multiple sources.

Keywords: child underweight, child malnutrition, child health, ICDS, Punjab, South Asia

JEL Classification: M53, I12, I38, J38

Suggested Citation

Singh, Prakarsh and Masters, William A., Behavior Change for Early Childhood Nutrition: Effectiveness of Health Worker Training Depends on Maternal Information in a Randomized Control Trial. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10375. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879782

Prakarsh Singh (Contact Author)

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States
413-542-2271 (Phone)

William A. Masters

Tufts University - Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy ( email )

150 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.tufts.edu/willmasters

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

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