Banner for HP/CHIBE Work-In-Progress Research Seminar Series- Featuring: John Hoddinott, PhD


HP/CHIBE Work-In-Progress Research Seminar Series- Featuring: John Hoddinott, PhD

Food transfers, cash transfers, behavior change communication and child nutrition: Evidence from Bangladesh.”

Virtual Seminar with John Hoddinott, PhD, H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Economics and Policy, Cornell University

About this Event: The importance of children’s nutritional status for subsequent human capital formation, the limited evidence of the effectiveness of social protection interventions on child nutrition, and the absence of knowledge on the intra-household impacts of cash and food transfers or how they are shaped by complementary programming motivate this paper.

We implemented two, linked randomized control trials in rural Bangladesh, with treatment arms including cash transfers, a food ration, or a mixed food and cash transfer, as well as treatments where cash and nutrition behavior change communication (BCC) or where food and nutrition BCC were provided. Only cash plus nutrition BCC had a significant impact on nutritional status, but its effect on height-for-age z scores (HAZ) was large, 0.25SD. We explore the mechanisms underlying this impact.

Improved diets – including increased intake of animal source foods – along with reductions in illness in the cash plus BCC treatment arm are consistent with the improvement we observe in children’s HAZ.

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John Hoddinott, H.E. Babcock Professor of Food & Nutrition Economics and Policy

John Hoddinott is the H.E. Babcock Professor of Food and Nutrition Economics and Policy, Cornell University. Before coming to Cornell in 2015, he was a Deputy Division Director at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC.

His research focuses on the causes and consequences of poverty, hunger and undernutrition in developing countries. He has been heavily involved in primary data collection through living in a mud hut in western Kenya and a small town near Timbuktu Mali in addition to his work in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Niger and Zimbabwe.

John has ongoing research work in three countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Guatemala. The Bangladesh and Ethiopian studies focus on agriculture, social protection, food security and nutrition. These are a mix of prospective cohort and randomized control trials. The Guatemala study is a follow up to a randomized community nutrition intervention that was fielded in the early 1970s


John is interested in the causes of poverty, food insecurity and undernutrition, and the design and evaluation of interventions that would reduce these. He has also undertaken work on poverty dynamics, intrahousehold resource allocation, schooling, labour markets aid allocation and on improving survey methods.

John’s current research interests focus on the links between economics (especially social protection, agriculture and gender), food security and early life nutrition. He has ongoing collaborative projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Guatemala.