The Determinants of Child Weight and Height in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach
AbstractReducing child malnutrition is a key goal of most developing countries. To combat child malnutrition with the right set of interventions, policymakers need to have a better understanding of its economic, social and policy determinants. While there is a large literature that investigates the determinants of child malnutrition, it focuses almost exclusively on mean effects of these determinants. However, socioeconomic background variables and policy interventions may affect child nutrition differently at different points of the conditional nutritional distribution. Using quantile regressions, this paper explores the effects of variables such as a child?s age, sex and birth order; household expenditure per capita; parental schooling; and infrastructure on child weight and height at different points of the conditional distributions of weight and height using data from Sri Lanka?s Demographic and Health Survey. Results indicate that OLS estimates can be misleading in predicting the effects of determinants at the lower end of the distributions of weight and height. For example, even though on average Sri Lankan girls are not nutritionally-disadvantaged relative to boys, among children at the highest risk of malnutrition girls are disadvantaged relative to boys. Likewise, although expenditure per capita is associated with strong nutritional improvement on average, it is not a significant determinant of child height or weight at the lower end of the distribution. Similarly, parental education, electricity access, and the availability of piped water have larger effects on child weight and height at the upper quantiles than at the lower quantiles. The policy implication is that general interventions?parental schooling, infrastructure and income growth?are not as effective for children in the lower tail of the conditional weight and height distributions. These children, who are at the highest risk of malnutrition, are likely to need specialized nutritional interventions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/53.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
child health; child nutrition; malnutrition; child weight; child height; quantile regression; Sri Lanka;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2008-09-29 (Development)
- NEP-HEA-2008-09-29 (Health Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
- Folbre, Nancy, 1986. "Cleaning house : New perspectives on Households and Economic Development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 5-40, June.
- Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
- David Stifel & Harold Alderman, 2006.
"The "Glass of Milk" Subsidy Program and Malnutrition in Peru,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 421-448.
- Stifel, David & Alderman, Harold, 2003. "The"Glass of Milk"subsidy program and malnutrition in Peru," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3089, The World Bank.
- Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
- Haddad, Lawrence J & Bouis, Howarth E, 1991.
"The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines,"
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 45-68, February.
- Haddad, L. & Bouis, H.E., 1989. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Papers 97, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
- Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
- Folbre, Nancy, 1984. "Household Production in the Philippines: A Non-neoclassical Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 303-30, January.
- Buchinsky, Moshe, 1995. "Quantile regression, Box-Cox transformation model, and the U.S. wage structure, 1963-1987," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 109-154, January.
- Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1987. "How does mother's schooling affect family health, nutrition, medical care usage, and household sanitation?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 185-204.
- Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
- Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
- Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
- Jere Behrman & Victor Lavy, . "Child Health and Schooling Achievement: Association, Causality and Household Allocations," CARESS Working Papres 97-23, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
- Sweeney, Stuart & Davenport, Frank & Grace, Kathryn, 2013. "Combining insights from quantile and ordinal regression: Child malnutrition in Guatemala," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 164-177.
- Katsushi S. Imai & Samuel Kobina Annim & Raghav Gaiha & Veena S. Kulkarni, 2012. "Nutrition, Activity Intensity and Wage Linkages: Evidence from India," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-10, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Dec 2012.
- Katsushi S. Imai & Samuel Kobina Annim & Raghav Gaiha & Veena S. Kulkarni, 2012.
"Does Women's Empowerment Reduce Prevalence of Stunted and Underweight Children in Rural India?,"
Discussion Paper Series
DP2012-11, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Dec 2012.
- Katsushi Imai & Samuel Kobina Annim & Veena S. Kulkarni & Raghav Gaiha, 2013. "Does Women's Empowerment Reduce Prevalence of Stunted and Underweight Children in Rural India?," Discussion Paper Series DP2013-33, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
- Katsushi Imai & Samuel Kobina Annim & Raghav Gaiha & Veena S. Kulkarni, 2012. "Does Women’s Empowerment Reduce Prevalence of Stunted and Underweight Children in Rural India?," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1209, Economics, The University of Manchester.
- Azzarri, Carlo & Zezza, Alberto, 2011. "International migration and nutritional outcomes in Tajikistan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 54-70, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruck Tadesse).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.