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Kids eat free: School feeding and family spending on education

Haining Wang and Zhiming Cheng

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2022, vol. 193, issue C, 196-212

Abstract: We examine the relationship between children's participation in the Nutrition Improvement Programme (NIP) and household education expenditure on students under compulsory education in rural China. We find that participating in the school feeding programme can significantly increase household investment in children's education, especially in-school education expenditure. This positive relationship may be mediated by family economic status, parental time investment in children's education, and children's health status and cognitive ability. There is considerable heterogeneity in the impacts of the school feeding programme across subsamples. In general, male children and children from disadvantaged families, such as those in low- and middle-income households, those with less educated parents, and those left behind by migrant parents, are likely to benefit more from the school feeding programme. We also find suggestive evidence of intrahousehold resource reallocation away from eligible female children in response to the school feeding programme.

Keywords: School feeding; Household education spending; Nutrition improvement programme; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 D13 H52 H55 I28 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.11.023

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