Identifying Catch-Up Trajectories in Child Growth: New Methods with Evidence from Young Lives

55 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018 Last revised: 20 Mar 2018

See all articles by Sam Jones

Sam Jones

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG)

Paul Anand

The Open University - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS); IZA; University of Oxford

Date Written: February 22, 2018

Abstract

Definitions of catch-up growth in anthropometric outcomes among young children vary across studies. This paper distinguishes between catch-up in the mean of a group toward that of a healthy reference population versus catch-up within the group, associated with a narrowing of the outcome distribution. In contrast to conventional empirical approaches based on dynamic panel models, the paper shows how catch-up can be tested via a latent growth framework. Combined with a flexible estimator incorporating individual-specific intercepts and slopes, this enables between- and within-group forms of catch-up to be tested in a unified setting. The application of the proposed approach reveals significant differences in the nature, extent, and drivers of catch-up growth across the four Young Lives countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam). In addition, the paper shows how conclusions about catch-up are sensitive to the way in which anthropometric outcomes are expressed.

Suggested Citation

Jones, Sam and Behrman, Jere R. and Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Anand, Paul, Identifying Catch-Up Trajectories in Child Growth: New Methods with Evidence from Young Lives (February 22, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8353. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3128643

Sam Jones (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Hai-Anh H. Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MC2-846
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/haianhhdang/

Paul Anand

The Open University - Department of Economics ( email )

Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) ( email )

United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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