Geo-Additive Models of Childhood Undernutrition in Three Sub-Saharan African Countries

University of Munich SFB 386 Working Paper No. 287

30 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2002

See all articles by Ngianga B. Kandala

Ngianga B. Kandala

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Department of Statistics

Ludwig Fahrmeir

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Department of Statistics

Stephan Klasen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: July 2002

Abstract

We investigate the geographical and socioeconomic determinants of childhood undernutrition in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia, three neighboring countries in Southern Africa using the 1992 Demographic and Health Surveys. We estimate models of undernutrition jointly for the three countries to explore regional patterns of undernutrition that transcend boundaries, while allowing for country-specific interactions.

We use semiparamtetric models to flexibly model the effects of selected socioeconomic covariates and spatial effects. Our spatial analysis is based on a flexible geo-additive model using the district as the geographic unit of analysis, which allows to separate smooth structured spatial effects from random effects. Inference is fully Bayesian and uses recent Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques.

While the socioeconomic determinants generally confirm what is known in the literature, we find important non-linear effects of some covariates. Also, we find distinct residual spatial patterns that are not explained by the socioeconomic determinants. In Particular, there appears to be a belt running from Southern Tanzania to Northeastern Zambia which exhibits much worse undernutrition, even after controlling for socioecononomic effects. These effects do transcend borders, but to a varying degree.

These findings have important implications for targeting policy as well as the search for left-out variables that might account for these residual spatial patterns.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, Geo-Additive Models, Undernutrition, Spatial Analysis, Semiparametric Bayesian Analysis

JEL Classification: I12, J13, O12, O15

Suggested Citation

Kandala, Ngianga B. and Fahrmeir, Ludwig and Klasen, Stephan, Geo-Additive Models of Childhood Undernutrition in Three Sub-Saharan African Countries (July 2002). University of Munich SFB 386 Working Paper No. 287. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=321043 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.321043

Ngianga B. Kandala

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Department of Statistics ( email )

Ludwigstr. 33
Munchen, D-80539
Germany

Ludwig Fahrmeir

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Department of Statistics ( email )

Ludwigstr. 33
Munchen, D-80539
Germany

Stephan Klasen (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49-551-397303 (Phone)
+49-551-397302 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/klasen.html

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
110
Abstract Views
1,371
rank
244,946
PlumX Metrics