Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1734591
 
 

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Child Undernutrition in India


Raghav Gaiha


University of Delhi - Department of Economics

Raghbendra Jha


Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC); Crawford School of Public Policy

Vani S. Kulkarni


Yale University - Department of Sociology

June 9, 2010


Abstract:     
We have constructed a composite indicator of anthropometric failure (CIAF) that refines the Waterlow-3 tier classification, using a recent nation-wide household survey. The CIAF and its disaggregation into subcategories of undernourished 5 years old children reveal a grimmer story of child undernutrition than conventional anthropometric indicators do. Besides, simultaneous occurrence of anthropometric failures (e.g. stunting and underweight, and stunting, wasting and underweight) is pervasive. Our analysis of determinants of CIAF yields some new insights-specifically, the important role of food prices. Investigation of the links between different anthropometric failures and prevalence of infectious diseases (viz. Diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection), however, offers some justification for the disaggregated classification of undernourished children used here. Specifically, those with more than one failure were worse-off in this respect than children with no failure. There is a strong case for income growth together with food price stabilisation in curbing child undernutrition. Education has the desired effect but it is less strong than expected. Improvement in the quality of home environment makes a difference too but it is not conditional on income or wealth alone.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: stunting, wasting, underweight, poverty, infectious diseases, mortality

JEL Classification: D12, D60, I10, I31

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Date posted: January 5, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Gaiha , Raghav and Jha, Raghbendra and Kulkarni , Vani S., Child Undernutrition in India (June 9, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1734591 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1734591

Contact Information

Raghav Gaiha
University of Delhi - Department of Economics ( email )
Delhi-110007
India
Raghbendra Jha (Contact Author)
Australian National University (ANU) - Australia South Asia Research Centre (ASARC) ( email )
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 2683 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0443 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://crawford.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/rjha.php
Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Vani S. Kulkarni
Yale University - Department of Sociology ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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