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Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh

Discussion Papers

No.579

by Tomoki FUJII, Abu S. SHONCHOY, and Sijia XU
March 2016

ABSTRACT

We offer micro-econometric evidence for a positive impact of rural electrification on the nutritional status of children under five as measured by height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) in rural Bangladesh. In most estimates, access to electricity is found to improve HAZ by more than 0.15 points and this positive impact comes from increased wealth and reduced fertility, even though the evidence for the latter is weak. We also analyze the causal channels through the local health facility and exposure to television. We find no evidence for the presence of the former channel and mixed evidence for the latter.

Keywords: electrification, height-for-age Z score, malnutrition, television, wealth.
JEL classification: I15, O15, O22

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