||Low income is only one financial problem that poor families in developing countries
face; impoverished households must also face irregularity of their low incomes. Self-help
groups (SHGs) can enhance consumption stability by relaxing savings and credit constraints.
In this study, I investigate the extent to which SHGs improve a particular dimension
of household wellbeing: child nutrition. I analyze households affiliated with the
SHGs started by the People’s Education and Development Organization (P.E.D.O.) in
rural Rajasthan, India. Children who had greater levels of exposure to household
SHG membership at a young age have healthier anthropometric statuses than their siblings
who had relatively less. This relationship does not appear to be driven by events
coinciding with SHG involvement or by the tendency for certain children, who were
also exposed to SHGs, to receive better nutrition than their siblings. These findings
suggest that SHGs could improve child nutrition but must be interpreted in light of
limitations of and potential biases in the data.