Child health in rural Mexico: did Progresa improve children’s morbidity risks?

Maria C. Huerta, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Children growing up in poverty are more likely to have poorer health outcomes than their better-off peers because they are more exposed to the hazards associated with ill health. One of the central goals of Mexico’s anti-poverty programme, Progresa, is to reduce and prevent morbidity among children living in extreme poverty. The purpose of this study is to estimate Progresa’s effect on reducing the prevalence of diarrhoea and respiratory infections, the most common childhood diseases in developing countries. Specifically, we want to answer whether Progresa has a positive effect on reducing morbidity rates and whether its effect is greater among certain groups of the population. Our estimates suggest a positive impact on reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases, mainly that of diarrhoea. We do not find evidence of significant interactions between household or community characteristics and Progresa, except for distance to the health centre and region of residence.

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Presented in Session 184: Population and poverty (2)