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Maternal cash for better child health? The impacts of India’s IGMSY/PMMVY maternity benefit scheme

von Haaren, Paula ; Klonner, Stefan

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Abstract

The maternity benefit scheme introduced as Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) in 2011 and renamed Pradhan Mantri Matriva Sahyog Yojana (PMMVY) in 2017, which incentivizes pregnant and lactating women to participate in various infant health-promoting activities, is India’s largest conditional cash transfer program thus far. We approach IGMSY’s geographically targeted pilot phase as a natural experiment and use data from a large national health survey to estimate its effects by a matched-pair differences-in-differences approach. Consistent with the program’s objectives we find positive, albeit small effects on infant immunization as well as long-term health care utilization. In addition, intervals between eligible births increase by 15 percent. Our findings suggest that PMMVY is moderately cost-effective, at least regarding immunization, but that it will make only a small contribution to redressing India’s dismal child-health record.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0689
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2020 12:38
Date: September 2020
Number of Pages: 59
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: cash incentives, demand-side financing, child health, maternal health, India
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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