The effect of health insurance on child nutritional outcomes: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design in Peru

Noelia Bernal, Joan Costa-i-Font, Patricia Ritter

Producción científica: Documento de trabajo


Although a significant number of middle and low-income countries have expanded access to subsidized health insurance, it still is unclear whether these insurance expansions improve children's health. This paper exploits quasi-random variation from an insurance expansion targeted at poor households in Peru to investigate its effects on nutrition related children's health. We find that access to insurance reduces childhood obesity and exerts positive and economically significant effects on some preventive health care utilization and behaviours. That is, we show that insurance eligibility improves children's regular growth check-ups and deworming treatments, consistent with an increased awareness of children's weight and height and improvements on preventive health behaviours: namely, an increase in the duration of breastfeeding, and a substitution of the provision of food rich in carbohydrates for food rich in proteins. In contrast, we do not find any significant effect on other outcomes that are found to be sensitive to other interventions.
Idioma originalInglés
Lugar de publicaciónMunich
EditorialCenter for Economic Studies and ifo Institute (CESifo)
Número de páginas35
EstadoPublicada - ago. 2022

Series de publicaciones

NombreCESifo Working Paper

Nota bibliográfica

Bibliografía: páginas 16-19.

"We are grateful to Paola Villa-Paro, Lucía Valdivieso and Yadiraah Iparraguirre for their excellent research assistance. We also thank the helpful comments provided by Luis Miguel Robles, Naveen Sunder, Vasupranda Shandar and participants at the seminars of the Eastern Economic Association Conference 2022 and Universidad del Pacífico. We are grateful as well to the financial support provided by the Consorcio de Investigacion Economica y Social (CIES; Grant PMAT1-1131-087).", página 1.


Profundice en los temas de investigación de 'The effect of health insurance on child nutritional outcomes: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design in Peru'. En conjunto forman una huella única.

Citar esto