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Infant mortality and child nutrition in Bangladesh

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  • Diane Dancer

    (Discipline of Econometrics and Business Statistics, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia)

  • Anu Rammohan

    (Discipline of Economics, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia)

  • Murray D. Smith

    (Health Economics Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Scotland, UK)

Abstract

The excess female infant mortality observed in South Asia has typically been attributed to gender discrimination in the intra-household allocation of food and medical care. However, studies on child nutrition find no evidence of gender differences. A natural explanation could be that in environments of high infant mortality of females, the surviving children are healthier, so that child nutrition cannot be studied independently of mortality. In this paper, we use data from the 2004 Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey to investigate if there are any gender differences in survival probabilities and whether this leads to differences in child nutrition. We argue the importance of establishing whether or not there exists a dependence relationship between the two random variables - infant mortality and child nutrition - and in order to detect this we employ a copula approach to model specification. The results suggest, for example, that while male children have a significantly lower likelihood of surviving their first year relative to female children, should they survive they have significantly better height-for-age Z-scores. From a policy perspective, household wealth and public health interventions such as vaccinations are found to be important predictors of better nutritional outcomes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1015-1035

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:17:y:2008:i:9:p:1015-1035

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
  2. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  4. Ahmad, A. & Morduch, J., 1993. "Identifying Sex Bias in the Allocation of Household Resources: Evidence from Linked Household Surveys from Bangladesh," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1636, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Murray D. Smith, 2003. "Modelling sample selection using Archimedean copulas," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 6(1), pages 99-123, 06.
  6. Ashish Garg & Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 471-493.
  7. Jonathan J. Morduch & Hall S. Stern, 1995. "Using Mixture Models to Detect Sex Bias in Health Outcomes in Bangladesh," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1728, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  9. Wiji Arulampalam & Sonia Bhalotra, 2006. "Sibling death clustering in India: state dependence "versus" unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(4), pages 829-848.
  10. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Selective gender differences in childhood nutrition and immunization in rural India: The role of siblings," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 395-418, August.
  11. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. David Bishaia & Michael Koenig & Mehrab Ali Khan, 2003. "Measles vaccination improves the equity of health outcomes: evidence from Bangladesh," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 415-419.
  13. Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E, 1998. "Maternal Labour Supply and Child Nutrition in West Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 325-55, August.
  14. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
  15. Leslie, Joanne, 1988. "Women's work and child nutrition in the Third World," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(11), pages 1341-1362, November.
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Cited by:
  1. José M. R. Murteira & Óscar D. Lourenço, 2007. "Health Care Utilization and Self-Assessed Health Specification of Bivariate Models Using Copulas," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York 07/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Ganguli, Ina & Hausmann, Ricardo & Viarengo, Martina, 2011. "Closing the Gender Gap in Education: Does It Foretell the Closing of the Employment, Marriage, and Motherhood Gaps?," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp11-021, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Anu Rammohan & Niyi Awofeso & Kazi Iqbal, 2014. "Gender differentials in the timing of measles vaccination in rural India," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(67), pages 1825-1848, June.
  4. Hasebe, Takuya & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2012. "A Flexible Sample Selection Model: A GTL-Copula Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 7003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mussa, Richard, 2011. "Intrahousehold and interhousehold child nutrition inequality in Malawi," MPRA Paper 33498, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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