Impact and Spill-Over Effects of an Asset Transfer Program on Child Undernutrition: Evidence From a Randomized Control Trial in Bangladesh

This article was published in the Journal of Health Economics. Targeting the Ultra-poor (TUP) is an integrated program that combines the transfer of income-generating assets and multifaceted training on entrepreneurship, health-nutrition, and social awareness over a two-year period to graduate ultra-poor with mainstream poverty. While positive socioeconomic effects and spillover effects are well-documented, this is the first paper to evaluate the effects of the program on the nutritional outcomes of under-5 children using data from a Randomized Control Trial over a four-year period. We find notable improvements in the nutritional outcomes of children in participating households. TUP is further seen to improve food security, sanitation and duration of exclusive breastfeeding. The nutrition status of children living in poor non-participant households is also positively affected though no effects were found on children from non-poor households. We conclude that programs that combine asset transfer with multifaceted training such as TUP can have significant long-term positive health effects.

Authors: Raza, Wameq A.; Poel, Ellen Van de; Ourti, Tom Van
Type: Journal Article
Year: 2018