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Intrahousehold and interhousehold child nutrition inequality in Malawi

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  • Mussa, Richard

Abstract

The allocation of resources within households may not be equal, and this may lead to different outcomes including health outcomes for household members. This paper investigates whether child nutrition inequalities are attributable to differences between households or differences within households in Malawi. Using a linear model with random effects, we derive a method to estimate the between and within contributions of both the explained and unexplained variances of child nutrition. Child nutrition is measured using height-for-age z-scores, and weight-for-height z-scores. The empirical analysis uses the 2006 multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS) data. We find evidence of within household nutritional bias along gender, age, and birth order lines in Malawi. The results for rural and urban areas, as well as ethnic and religious groups show that nutrition inequalities largely stem from differences within households. Intrahousehold nutrition inequalities are however less explained by observables, while interhousehold inequalities are more explained by observables.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33498.

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Date of creation: 15 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33498

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Keywords: Inequality; nutrition; Malawi;

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  1. Smith, Lisa C. & Ramakrishnan, Usha & Ndiaye, Aida & Haddad, Lawrence James & Martorell, Reynaldo, 2003. "The importance of women's status for child nutrition in developing countries:," Research reports 131, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Haddad, L. & Kanbur, R., 1989. "How Serious Is The Neglectof Intra-Household Inequality?," Papers 450, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Nathalie Picard & François-Charles Wolff, 2007. "Measuring educational inequalities:A method and an application to Albania," THEMA Working Papers 2007-21, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  5. David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2002. "Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 716-735.
  6. Diane Dancer & Anu Rammohan & Murray D. Smith, 2008. "Infant mortality and child nutrition in Bangladesh," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(9), pages 1015-1035.
  7. Linnemayr, Sebastian & Alderman, Harold & Ka, Abdoulaye, 2008. "Determinants of malnutrition in Senegal: Individual, household, community variables, and their interaction," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 252-263, July.
  8. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
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