Experimental evidence on the impacts of supplying iron-fortified salt through school lunch on children’s health and cognitive development in India


The prevalence of nutritional anemia (iron deficiency) among school-age children continues to be high and is a major concern for maternal and child health in developing countries, particularly in South Asia. While it is well documented in the efficacy studies that salt fortified with iron and iodine, known as double-fortified salt (DFS), can address iron deficiency among anemic individuals, there remains a significant gap between the efficacy (potential effect) and the effectiveness (actual effect under real-world conditions) of DFS.

We conduct a field experiment on a sample of 2,000 grade II children in Bihar, India. Children in the treated schools consumed iron-fortified school lunches for a year. We collect data on hemoglobin level, cognitive tests, reading and math scores, and school attendance to econometrically test the impacts of DFS intervention on anemia reduction and cognitive development. 

Research Focus

  • Global Health Economics
  • Health Systems, Policy, and Organizations
  • Maternal/Child and Community Health

    At the EIGH, our researchers explore multifaceted health issues pertaining to women, pregnancy, breastfeeding, reproduction, and infant and child well-being. Our focus to decrease maternal and infant mortality rates supports a global priority among health practitioners and researchers. Additionally, community-based research on the local and global levels promotes a team effort to protect and improve the health of population groups worldwide. 

Who’s Involved

EIGH Faculty

Global Partner

  • University of Gottingen

Additional Information


Kraemer, Marion; Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian. 2021. Improving Child Health and Cognition: Evidence from a School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 103 (5): 818-834.

Kraemer, Marion; Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian. 2021. Anemia, diet, and cognitive development: Impact of health information on diet quality and child nutrition in rural India. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 190, 495-523.

Other Research in India