Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

FIGHTING POVERTY AND CHILD MALNUTRITION: ON THE DESIGN OF FOREIGN AID POLICIES

  • Chrysovalantis Vasilakis (a1)
Abstract

This paper investigates how the different food aid programs affect economic development via their effect on the parental trade-off between the number of children and the investment in each child's human capital. This is done in an OLG framework where parents decide on the number of children and the nutrition and secondary schooling of each child. Primary schooling is mandatory. Providing school meals locks countries with no children attending secondary schooling into poverty by reducing the private (nutrition) cost per child. In countries where parents find it optimal to enroll children in secondary schooling, food aid increases the marginal benefit of schooling. Consequently, school feeding programs are conducive to economic development in these countries. If food aid is in the form of a food price subsidy, we show that child nutrition and thus children's human capital increase unambiguously. Although fertility and schooling are not directly affected, a sufficiently high subsidy rate will induce parents to begin to enroll children into secondary schooling by the assumed complementarity between nutrition and schooling in the human capital production function. If the food aid program provides a fixed amount of food per child, this decreases the marginal benefit of parental nutritional investments; therefore, it leads to higher fertility and to lower total provision of nutrition per child.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Chrysovalantis Vasilakis, Bangor Business, School Hen Goleg, Bangor University, College Road, Bangor, LL57 2DG; e-mail: chvasilakis@gmail.com.
Footnotes
Hide All

I am grateful for the insights of Raouf Boucekkine, Carmen Camacho, Frédéric Docquier, Oded Galor, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Jackyn Kropp, Anastasia Litina, Fabio Marianni, Sergey Mityakov, Omer Moav, Kyriakos Neanidis, Herakles Polemarchakis, Petros Sekeris, Kevin Tsui, and the two anonymous referees and the associate editor.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
AbdusS. and Rangazas P. (2011) Adult nutrition and growth. Review of Economic Dynamics 14 (4), 636649.
AgarwalD.K., Agarwal K.N., and Upadhay S.K. (1989) Effect of a mid-day meal program on physical growth and mental function. Indian Journal of Medical Resources 90, 163174.
AldermanH., Hoddinott J., and Kinsey B. (2006) Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition. Oxford Economic Papers 58, 450474.
AngelesL. and Neanidis K. (2009) Aid effectiveness: The role of the local elite. Journal of Development Economics 90, 120134.
ArcandJ. (2001) Under-nourishment and Economic Growth: The Efficiency Cost of Hunger. Economic and Social Development 147, FAO Rome, Italy.
AzariadisC. and Stachurski J. (2005) Poverty traps. Handbook of Economic Growth, In: Aghion Philippe & Durlauf Steven (ed.), edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5. Elsevier.
AzarnertL.V. (2008) Foreign aid, fertility and human capital accumulation. Economica 75, 766781.
BaldacciE., Clements B., Gupta S., and Cui Q. (2004) Social Spending, Human Capital, and Growth in Developing Countries: Implications for Achieving the MDGs. Working paper 04/127, International Monetary Fund.
BeckerG. (1962) Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Political Economy 70, pp 949.
BoucekkineR., Desbordes R., and Latzer H. (2009) How do epidemics induce behavioral changes? Journal of Economic Growth 14, 233264.
BoucekkineR. and Laffargue J.P. (2010) On the distributional consequences of epidemics. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34, 231245.
BruceN. and Turnorsky S.J. (2013) Demography and growth: A unified treatment of overlapping generations. Macroeconomic Dynamics 17, 16051637.
ChakrabortyS. (1996) Endogenous lifetime and economic growth. Journal of Economic Theory 116, 119137.
ChandlerA.M., Walker S.P., Connolly K., and Grantham-McGregor S.M. (1996) School breakfast improves verbal fluency in undernourished Jamaican children. Journal of Nutrition 17, 894900.
ChangS.M., Walker S.P., Himes J., and Grantham-McGregor S.M. (1996) Effects of breakfast on classroom behavior in rural Jamaican school children. Food Nutrition Bulletin 17, 248257.
CollierP. and Dehn J. (2001) Aid, Shocks, and Growth. Working paper 2688, World Bank.
CollinsJ., Baer B., and Weber E. (2014) Economic growth and evolution: Parental preference for quality and quantity of offspring. Macroeconomic Dynamics 18, 17731796.
CurraisL., Rivera R., and Rungo P. (2010) Effects of the complementarities of child nutrition and education on persistent deprivation. Economic Letters 106, 6769.
DaalgardC., Hansen H., and Tarp F. (2004) On the empirics of foreign aid and growth. Economic Journal 114, 191216.
DevadasR.P., Jamala S., and Surabhi A. (1996) Effects of breakfast on classroom behaviour in rural Jamaican schoolchildren. Food Nutrition Bulletin 17, 248257.
DoepkeM. and Zilibotti F. (2005) The macroeconomics of child labor regulation. American Economic Review 95, 14921524.
DreherA., Nunnenkamp P., and Thiele R. (2006) Does Aid for Education Educate Children? Evidence from Panel Data. Kiel working paper 1290, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
EasterlyW., Levine R., and Roodman D. (2004) Aid, policies, and growth: Comment. American Economic Review 94, 774780.
EconomidesG., Kalyvitis S., and Philippopoulos A. (2008) Does foreign aid distort incentives and hurt growth? Theory and evidence from 75 aid-recipient countries. Public Choice 134, 463488.
GalorO. (2011) Unified Growth Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
GalorO. (2012) The demographic transition: Causes and consequences. Cliometrica 5 (1), 128.
GalorO. and Mayer-Foulkes D. (2004) Food for Thought: Basic Needs and Persistent Educational Inequality. Working paper 0410002, Brown University.
GalorO. and Moav O. (2002) Natural selection and the origin of economic growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics 117, 11331192.
GalorO. and Moav O. (2006) Das human kapital: A theory of the demise of the class structure. Review of Economic Studies 73, 85117.
GalorO., Moav O., and Vollrath D. (2009) Inequality in landowership, the emergence of human-capital promoting institutions and the great divergence. Review of Economic Studies 76, 143179.
GalorO. and Weil D. (2000) Population, technology and growth: From Malthusian stagnation to the demographic transition and beyond. American Economic Review 90, 806828.
HansenH. and Tarp F. (2001) Aid and growth regressions. Journal of Development Economics 64, 547570.
HazanM. and Berdugo B. (2002) Child labour, fertility and economic growth. Economic Journal 112, 810828.
HuffH.B. and Jimenez M. (2003) The Food Aid Convention: Past Performance and Future Role within the New Global Trade and Development Environment. Paper presented at the International Conference on Agricultural Policy Reform and the WTO: Where Are We Heading? Capri, Italy.
JacobyE., Cueto S., and Pollit E. (1996) Benefits of school breakfast program among Andean children in Huarez, Peru. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 17, 5464.
JensenP. and Nielsen H.S. (1997) Child labor or school attendances: Evidence from Zambia. Journal of Population Economics 10, 407424.
KraakV.I., Pelletier D.L., Frogilo E.A.Jr., and Rajabiun S. (1999) The Potential Role of Food Aid for AIDS Mitigation in East Africa: Stakeholder Views. Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) Project, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC.
KristjanssonE.A., Robinson V., Petticrew M., MacDonald B., Krasevec J., Janzen L., Greenhalgh T., Wells G., MacGowan J., Farmer A., Shea B.J., Mayhew A., Tugwell P. (2006) School feeding for improving the physical and psychosocial health of disadvantaged students. Campbell Systematic Reviews 14.
MoavO. (2005) Cheap children and the persistence of poverty. Economic Journal 115, 88110.
MurphyS.P., Gewa C., Liang L.J., Grillenberger M., Bwido N.O., and Neumann C.G. (2003) School snacks containing animal source foods improve dietary quality of children in rural Kenya. Journal of Nutrition 133, 39503956.
NakamuraH. and SeokaK. (2014) Differential fertility and economic development. Macroeconomic Dynamics 18 10481068.
NeanidisK. (2012) Humanitarian aid, fertility and economic growth. Economica, 27–61.
O'DonnelO., Rosati F.C., and Van Doorslaer E. (2005) Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam. Journal of Population Economics 18, 118.
PowellC., Grantham-McGregorS. and Elston M. (1983) An evaluation of giving the Jamaican government school meal to a class of children. Human Nutrition–-Clinical Nutrition 37, 381388.
RoodmanD. (2007) The anarchy of numbers: Aid, development and cross-country empirics. World Bank Economic Review 21, 255277.
SchultzT.W. (1961) Investment in human capital. American Economic Review 1, 117.
SimeonD.T. (1998) School feeding in Jamaica: A review of its evaluation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67 (4), 790794.
StrulikH. and Weisdorf J. (2014) How child cost and survival shaped the Industrial Revolution and the demographic transition. Macroeconomic Dynamics 18, 114144.
VasilakisC. (2011) Fighting Poverty and Child Malnutrition: On the Design of Foreign Aid Policies. Discussion paper 2011030, IRES.
WangX. and Taniguchi K. (2003) Nutrition intake and economic growth. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 106, 82133.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Macroeconomic Dynamics
  • ISSN: 1365-1005
  • EISSN: 1469-8056
  • URL: /core/journals/macroeconomic-dynamics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 65 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 15th June 2017 - 23rd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.