Does wealth translate in health: Evaluating the Bolsa Familia Program in rural Amazon


Dr. Barbara Piperata, Department of Anthropology
Rank at time of award: Assistant Professor


The objective of this proposed study is to assess how the health of people in rural households in the Amazon has been affected by funds from the Bolsa Familia, which is the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world. The proposed research will clarify the links between these cash transfers and health measures and will contribute to population health research by strengthening our understanding of how social, environmental and economic factors impact the health of rural populations in developing nations.  The data from this project will be immediately useful to program planners as they develop new health-oriented projects and assess existing programs. The results will serve as a base for designing a larger, multi-site project on economic change and population health in the Amazon Basin.


Publications resulting from this seed grant

2015. Piperata BA, McSweeney K, Murrieta RSS. In press. Conditional Cash Transfers, Food Security and Health: biocultural insights for poverty-alleviation policy from the Brazilian Amazon. Current Anthropology, 57, no.6.

2014. Vercelloti G, Piperata BA, Agnew AM, Wilson WM, Dufour DL, Boano R, Justus HM, Larsen CS, Stout SD, Sciulli PW. Exploring the multidimensionality of stature variation in the past through comparisons of archaeological and living populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 155: 229-242

2013. Piperata, Barbara. Dietary inequalities of mother-child pairs in the rural Amazon: Evidence of maternal-child buffering?  Social Science & Medicine 96: 183-91 PMCID: PMC3796132 

2012. Vercellotti G, Piperata BA. The use of biocultural data in interpreting sex differences in body proportions among rural Amazonians. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147:113-127. PMCID: PMC3357059 

2011. Piperata BA, Spence JE, da Gloria P, Hubbe M. The nutrition transition in Amazonia: Rapid economic change and its impact on growth and development in Ribeirinhos. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 146:1-13 PMID: 21541919

2011. Piperata BA, Ivanova SA, da Gloria P, Veiga G, Polsky A, Spence JE, Murrieta RSS. Nutrition in transition: dietary patterns of rural Amazonian women during a period of economic change. American Journal of Human Biology, 23:458-469. PMID: 21538648

2010. Ivanova SA, Piperata BA. Dietary intake among Ribeirinha women in the eastern Amazon: Evidence of a nutrition transition? American Journal of Human Biology, 22:257-258.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2019. Piperata BA. Filling the belly and feeding the mind? Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program and the building of children’s human capital in rural Amazonia. In: Elisa Maria Balen and Martin Fotta, editors. Money from the government in Latin America: Conditional cash transfer policies and rural lives. Routledge. pp 44-62.

2014. Adams C, Piperata BA. Ecologia Humana, Saúde e Nutrição na Amazônia. In: Guimarães Viera IC, Mann de Toledo, P, Araújo Oliveira Santos Jr. R, editors. Ambiente e Sociedade na Amazônia: Uma Abordagem Interdisciplinar. Belém: Museu Parense Emílio Goeldi.