Inequality of Opportunity in Access to Basic Services Among Egyptian Children

Development Analytics Research Paper Series #1304

28 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2013

Date Written: July 8, 2013


This paper estimates inequality of opportunities among Egyptian children over time between the years 2000 and 2008 using Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys. The Human Opportunity Index (HOI) is calculated across four categories of access to services, including health utilization, nutrition, basic infrastructure services and school enrolment. Over these years, Egypt implemented several policies in the health and education sectors that improved the access of children to services through the nation-wide Family Health Model (FHM), as well as through a social marketing campaign to promote iodized salt. This paper finds improvements in the Human Opportunity Index linked to such policies, with HOI increasing from 38.8 to 67.7 for instance for the probability of blood sample being taken from mother during pregnancy, and from 37.6 to 63.4 for births taking place in public or private health facilities. Increases in overall coverage of health services were responsible for improvements in the HOI. However, in terms of malnutrition, indicators have deteriorated during this time period, with HOI for not being stunted decreasing from 78.2 to 74. The decomposition of the HOI finds that the probability of malnutrition among Egyptian children is not closely linked to family circumstances, contrary to what one might expect, calling for more supply-side (and less targeted) efforts to reduce malnutrition for all Egyptian children.

Keywords: inequality of opportunity, children, welfare, health, malnutrition, Egypt

JEL Classification: I3, O15, D31

Suggested Citation

Aran, Meltem A. and Ersado, Lire, Inequality of Opportunity in Access to Basic Services Among Egyptian Children (July 8, 2013). Development Analytics Research Paper Series #1304, Available at SSRN: or

Meltem A. Aran (Contact Author)

Development Analytics ( email )

31 Mektep Sokak
Istanbul, Istanbul 34467
902122778641 (Phone)


Lire Ersado

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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