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Labor and Women's Nutrition: The Impact of Work Effort and Fertility on Nutritional Status in Ghana

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  • Paul A. Higgins
  • Harold Alderman

Abstract

Economic approaches to nutrition have focused largely on measures of child nutrition and thus have been able to ignore the issue of individual heterogeneity in energy expenditures. Ignoring such an issue may be bad science, however, especially given the case of adults, whose waking hours are devoted mostly to labor activities, the energy costs of which vary enormously. An instrumental variables technique was employed to obtain consistent estimates of the structural parameters of the nutrition production function for adult women in Ghana. Energy expenditure, as embodied in individual time allocations over the previous seven days, was found to be an important determinant of female nutritional status, with time devoted to agricultural tasks, in particular, having a strong negative effect. Perhaps most importantly, evidence was found of a substantial downward bias of the calorie elasticity estimate when the energy expenditure proxies were excluded.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 32 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 577-595

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:3:p:577-595

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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Cited by:
  1. Scanlan, Stephen J., 2004. "Women, Food Security, and Development in Less-Industrialized Societies: Contributions and Challenges for the New Century," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1807-1829, November.
  2. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2012. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Price and Income Related Shocks in Malawi and Uganda," Working Papers 2012-014, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA).
  3. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Food aid and child nutrition in rural Ethiopia," FCND discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, . "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Working Papers 97019, Stanford University, Department of Economics.

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