Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Tania Barham, PhD

Second Advisor

Terra McKinnish, PhD

Third Advisor

Matthew McQueen, ScD

Abstract

Bangladesh’s Primary Education Stipend program (PES) provides a 100 taka monthly stipend to families that enroll their primary school age children in school, effectively doubling the incomes of Bangladesh’s poorest households. Considering that poor nutrition can lead to chronic disease outcomes, it is possible that participating households may spend this stipend to improve the nutrition of their children. Two difference-in-difference models are utilized to determine the effect of PES enrollment on height, weight, and BMI via panel data. By applying a variable difference-in-difference estimator, we find that the number of years a child spends eligible for PES benefits results in increases in both height and weights, though the effect was larger for boys. This analysis further reinforces notions that female children have higher likelihoods of suffering from malnutrition than male children.

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