Educational and health impact of two school-feeding schemes: evidence from a randomized trial in rural Burkina Faso

Harounan Kazianga, Oklahoma State University
Harold Alderman, World Bank Group

We use a prospective randomized trial to assess the impact of two school feeding schemes on educational and health outcomes in rural Burkina Faso. The school feeding programs under consideration are school meals and take home rations. We found that both school feeding schemes increased enrollment by 4 to 6 percent. We find, however, that the impact on academic performance and attendance are not significant. We argue that increased enrollment could be accompanied by lower attendance rates if there is no active labor market and households are labor constrained. We show that the interventions caused attendance to decrease in households who are low in child labor supply while attendance improved for households which have larger child labor supply. This explains the mixed impacts on learning outcome. For younger children between 6 and 60 months, take home rations have increased weight-for-height by .29 standard deviations and weight-for-age by .24 standard deviations.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children