The harmony of programs package: Quasi-experimental evidence on deworming and canteen interventions in rural Senegal

Théophile T. Azomahou, Fatoumata Diallo & Wladimir Raymond


This paper uses a unique and large-scale quasi-experimental data to study the effect of deworming and school meals programs as a package on educational outcomes (pupils' test scores: aggregate, French or math; enrollment, promotion or dropout rates) in rural Senegal. We extend the endogenous selection model à la Heckman to incorporate a double-index selection mechanism. We also generalize the Roy model accordingly. We develop estimation strategies based on the full information maximum likelihood and the two-step method. We derive a wide and rich collection of treatment effects ranging from exclusive to relative effects including sequential and substitution effects. The results show that the combination of deworming and school meals programs is more beneficial to pupils' achievements than taking programs separately. The sequence of implementation does matter. The two programs are complementary in increasing scores and promotion rates. However, they are substitutes in reducing dropouts. The cost-effectiveness analysis shows the deworming program is by far cheaper than the meals intervention. Implementing meals program before deworming is more cost-effective than the reverse. Lastly, unlike the deworming, meals program and the package (deworming and meals) have a welfare-enhancing effect on households.

Key words: Deworming and school meals programs, double-index selection, complementarity vs. substitutability, educational outcomes, quasi-experiment, welfare, Africa

JEL Classification: I25, C31, C34

Download the working paper