Spillovers of community-based health interventions on consumption smoothing

Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde Marcos, Bansi; Hernandez, Vera
Publisher
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
18 October 2016
Series
IFS Working Paper; W16/18
Subject(s)
Health Services, Community Development and Regeneration
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This paper studies spillover effects of a participatory community health intervention in rural Malawi, implemented through a cluster randomised control trial, on an outcome not directly targeted by the intervention: household consumption smoothing after crop losses.

It finds that while crop losses reduce consumption growth in the absence of the intervention, households in treated areas are able to compensate for this loss and perfectly insure their consumption. Asset decumulation also falls in treated areas. Evidence suggests that these effects are driven by increased social interactions, which could have alleviated contracting frictions. It is unlikely that they are driven by improved health or reductions in the incidence of crop losses.