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Did Indonesia's Cries of 1997/98 Affect Child Nutrition? A Cohort Decomposition Analysis of National Nutrition Surveillance Data


Author Info

  • Steven A. Block
  • Lynnda Keiss
  • Patrick Webb
  • S. Kosen
  • Regina Moench-Pfanner
  • Martin W. Bloem
  • C. Peter Timmer


This study uses a new survey of households in rural Central Java to assess the nutritional impact of Indonesia’s drought and financial crisis of 1997/98. Applying an econometric approach that distinguishes between time, age, and cohort effects to a data set with more frequent time observations over the crisis period than has previously been available, this study reveals significant nutritional impacts. While there was no meaningful decline in child weight-for-age measures, mean weight-for-height declined by over one-third of a standard deviation. Furthermore, blood hemoglobin concentration – an even more responsive indicator, and one that provides insight into the quality, as well as the quantity of the diet – also declined sharply during the crisis. While both indicators subsequently improved, neither had recovered to its pre-crisis level by January 2001. The crisis thus significantly reversed what had previously been a ten-year period of improving nutritional status in Indonesia. We also demonstrate the efficacy of applying econometric decomposition of time, age, and cohort effects to high frequency nutrition surveillance data, and present suggestive evidence of links between maternal undernutrition and the subsequent nutrition of offspring.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in its series Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition with number 05.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsn:wpaper:05

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Keywords: nutrition; micronutrients; crisis; Indonesia;

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  1. Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & Lant Pritchett, 2003. "Evolution of Poverty During the Crisis in Indonesia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 221-241, 09.
  2. Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2001. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A 'Rapid Response' Methodology," Working Papers 482, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Deaton, A.S. & Paxson, C.H., 1992. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," Papers 161, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  4. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Jed Friedman, 1999. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis: Price Changes and the Poor," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 249, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  5. repec:fth:michin:446 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Block, S. & Webb, P., 2001. "The dynamics of livelihood diversification in post-famine Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 333-350, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven Block, 2002. "Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling in the Demand for Child Micronutrient Status," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 10, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  2. Steven Block, 2003. "Nutrition Knowledge, Household Coping, and the Demand for Micronutrient-Rich Foods," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 20, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  3. Patrick Webb & Karin Lapping, 2002. "Are the Determinants of Malnutrition the Same as for 'Food Insecurity'? Recent Findings from 6 Developing Countries on the Interaction Between Food and Nutrition Security," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 06, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  4. Self, Sharmistha & Grabowski, Richard, 2006. "The Asian Financial Crisis: Impact on Human Development," Review of Applied Economics, Review of Applied Economics, vol. 2(2).
  5. Webb, Patrick & Thorne-Lyman, Andrew, 2006. "Entitlement Failure from a Food Quality Perspective: The Life and Death Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Humanitarian Crises," Working Paper Series RP2006/140, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Patrick Webb & Andrew Thorne-Lyman, 2005. "Micronutrients in Emergencies," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 32, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  7. Patrick Webb & Steven Block, 2003. "Nutrition Knowledge and Parental Schooling as Inputs to Child Nutrition in the Long and Short Run," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 21, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.


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