Are Behavioral Change Interventions Needed to Make Cash Transfer Programs Work for Children? Experimental Evidence from Myanmar

55 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 3 Dec 2021

See all articles by Erica Field

Erica Field

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Elisa M. Maffioli

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Health Management and Policy; University of Michigan

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2, 2021

Abstract

We experimentally evaluate the impact on child malnutrition of a maternal cash transfer program in Myanmar that was supplemented with Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) in a subset of villages. The combination of interventions significantly reduced the proportion of children stunted, while cash alone had no impact on stunting. SBCC appears to have worked in conjunction with cash to reduce stunting by encouraging mothers to increase children’s total calories and protein consumed. The findings provide evidence that information constraints contribute to low income-elasticity of calorie demand among malnourished populations, and underscore the importance of adding SBCC to cash transfer programs.

Keywords: Nutrition, Cash Transfers, Social and Behavior Change Communication

JEL Classification: I15, O12, H53

Suggested Citation

Field, Erica and Maffioli, Elisa M. and Maffioli, Elisa M., Are Behavioral Change Interventions Needed to Make Cash Transfer Programs Work for Children? Experimental Evidence from Myanmar (December 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3584786

Erica Field

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group ( email )

Box 90097
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United States
(919) 660-1857 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.duke.edu/ericafield/

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )

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Elisa M. Maffioli (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

4438754930 (Phone)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Health Management and Policy ( email )

109 Observatory
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
United States

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