Growing Richer and Taller: Explaining Change in the Distribution of Child Nutritional Status During Vietnam's Economic Boom

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 07-008/3

Posted: 20 Jan 2007

See all articles by Owen A. O'Donnell

Owen A. O'Donnell

University of Macedonia

Angel Lopez Nicolas

Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT)

Eddy van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

Over a five-year period in the 1990s Vietnam experienced annual economic growth of more than 8% and a decrease of 15 points in the proportion of children chronically malnourished (stunted). We estimate the extent to which changes in the distribution of child nutritional status can be explained by changes in the level and distribution of income, and of other covariates. This is done using data from the 1993 and 1998 Vietnam Living Standards Surveys and a flexible decomposition technique that explains change throughout the complete distribution of child height. One-half of the decrease in the proportion of children stunted is explained by changes in the distributions of covariates and 35% is explained by change in the distribution of income. Covariates, including income, explain less of the decrease in very severe malnutrition, which is largely attributable to change in the conditional distribution of child height.

Keywords: Malnutrition, child height, decomposition, quantile regression, Vietnam

JEL Classification: I12, I31, O53

Suggested Citation

O'Donnell, Owen A. and Lopez Nicolas, Angel and van Doorslaer, Eddy, Growing Richer and Taller: Explaining Change in the Distribution of Child Nutritional Status During Vietnam's Economic Boom (January 2007). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 07-008/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=957786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.957786

Owen A. O'Donnell (Contact Author)

University of Macedonia ( email )

156 Egnatia St.
P.O. 1591
Thessaloniki, 54006
Greece

Angel Lopez Nicolas

Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT) ( email )

Cartagena
Spain

Eddy Van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics ( email )

Netherlands

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