Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Double African Paradox: What does selective mortality tell us?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Rouanet, Léa

Abstract

We study the relationship between height stature and child mortality in West Africa. This is motivated by two things: understanding the determinants of height, widely used health indicator, and explaining the « double African paradox ». This paradox comes from the fact that Africans are relatively tall in spite of extremely unfavorable income and disease environments; this the level paradox. The second paradox is that African height stature decreased in recent years, despite better health conditions and lower child mortality; this is the trend paradox. These stylized facts are surprising as both child mortality and height stature are viewed as health indicators, so that we expect a negative correlation between the two. To study this paradox, we focus on West African countries only, where child mortality levels are very high. For Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, we use DHS (Demographic and Health Surveys) data to measure child mortality (before 5) at the region X period level using the retrospective birth history of mothers. We want to test to what extent the paradox can be explained by selective child mortality. More generally, there is a need to understand how much child mortality levels and trends affect the study of height stature in Africa. Instrumentation can not be used in our context as we would need an event that increases or decreases mortality without affecting nutrition and regardless the distribution of heights. Consequently, we build a statistical model that we estimate linearly and nonlinearly. We first show that the correlation between adult height and mortality within region is not significantly negative in our setting. By estimating a nonlinear relationship between height and child mortality, we show that in high mortality contexts, when child mortality decreases selective mortality decreases as well, so that more short people survive. We are able to explain some differences in height levels between African countries and countries where selective mortality is lower. We also manage to explain why height stature did not increase as much as expected in Africa compared to the decrease in child mortality rates in the second half of the 20th century. --

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/48345/1/71_rouanet.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 71.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:71

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.ael.ethz.ch/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Height; Child Mortality; Selection; West Africa;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Kalle Hirvonen, 2013. "Measuring catch-up growth in malnourished populations," Working Paper Series 5913, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:71. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.