The impact of positive and negative income changes on the height and weight of young children

Published in: World Bank Economic Review (Forthcoming). (with Thomas Buser and Erik Plug and Juan Ponce and Jose Rosero)

We estimate the impact of changes in unearned income on the height and weight of young children in a developing country. As source of variation we use changes in the eligibility criteria for receipt of an unconditional cash transfer in Ecuador. Two years after families lost the transfer, which they had received for seven years, their young children weigh less, and are shorter and more likely to be stunted than young children in families that kept the cash transfer. We find no effect on the height and weight of young children two years after gaining the cash transfer. Information on household expenditures suggests that a reduction of food expenditures by households that lost the transfer is the main mechanism behind this finding

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