Bangladesh's Food for Education Program (FFE), which provided free food to poor families if their children attended primary school, was successful in increasing children's school enrollment, especially for girls. However, this success came at a price as class sizes increased. This paper uses a rich data set that includes school achievement test scores, information on schools, and household data to explore the impact of FFE on the quality of education. The analysis focuses on the impact of FFE on the achievement test scores of students who did not receive benefits. We find evidence for a negative impact of FFE on the test scores of non-beneficiary students through peer effects rather than through classroom crowding effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-684
Number of pages20
JournalWorld Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Bangladesh
  • Classroom crowding
  • Food for education
  • Peer effect
  • South Asia
  • Test scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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