IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/dem/demres/v42y2020i7.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trajectory of inequality of opportunity in child height growth: Evidence from the Young Lives study

Author

Listed:
  • Toshiaki Aizawa

    (University of York)

Abstract

Background: Socioeconomic circumstances during infancy and in early childhood shape later developmental opportunities. Understanding whether inequality in children’s health becomes stronger with age from the evidence of longitudinal data is an important first step in revealing the mechanism by which the intergenerational transmission of poverty takes place and evolves. Objective: This study investigates the 15-year trajectory of inequality in height growth associated with early-life circumstances among children in Vietnam, Peru, Ethiopia, and India. Methods: This study uses the datasets of the Young Lives study project, which is a large-scale crosscountry longitudinal study on childhood poverty conducted in Vietnam, Peru, Ethiopia, and India since 2002. Machine learning approaches are employed to estimate the relationship between early-life circumstances and child height. Results: The inequality in height stemming from the difference in early-life circumstances persists even after children reach early adolescence. The proportion of inequality peaks when children are 5 years old. Our prediction using the random forest model shows that, if we were able to fully compensate for early-life socioeconomic disadvantages, we could increase the lower percentile of the height distribution and reduce the inequality in height at age 15 by half. Conclusions: The results suggest that children from marginalised households should be supported at the earlier developmental stage. Contribution: This study shows the life-course evolution of inequalities in child growth, explores the dynamic link between early-life circumstances and later consequences, and identifies optimal timing in terms of when circumstances and events matter the most.

Suggested Citation

  • Toshiaki Aizawa, 2020. "Trajectory of inequality of opportunity in child height growth: Evidence from the Young Lives study," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(7), pages 165-202.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:42:y:2020:i:7
    DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2020.42.7
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol42/7/42-7.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal Origins and Parental Responses," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 37-56, May.
    2. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    3. Lynch, J. W. & Kaplan, G. A. & Salonen, J. T., 1997. "Why do poor people behave poorly? Variation in adult health behaviours and psychosocial characteristics by stages of the socioeconomic lifecourse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 809-819, March.
    4. Georgiadis, Andreas & Benny, Liza & Duc, Le Thuc & Galab, Sheikh & Reddy, Prudhvikar & Woldehanna, Tassew, 2017. "Growth recovery and faltering through early adolescence in low- and middle-income countries: Determinants and implications for cognitive development," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 81-90.
    5. Himaz, Rozana, 2018. "Stunting later in childhood and outcomes as a young adult: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 344-357.
    6. Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, May.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    9. Chalasani, Satvika, 2012. "Understanding wealth-based inequalities in child health in India: A decomposition approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2160-2169.
    10. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
    11. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Biology as Destiny? Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Intergenerational Transmission of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 231-264.
    13. Carol Propper & John Rigg & Simon Burgess, 2007. "Child health: evidence on the roles of family income and maternal mental health from a UK birth cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1245-1269.
    14. Chen, Edith & Martin, Andrew D. & Matthews, Karen A., 2006. "Socioeconomic status and health: Do gradients differ within childhood and adolescence?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2161-2170, May.
    15. Sánchez, Alan, 2017. "The structural relationship between early nutrition, cognitive skills and non-cognitive skills in four developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 27(PA), pages 33-54.
    16. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2010. "Causes and consequences of early-life health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 65-85, March.
    17. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 513-546, December.
    18. Paolo Brunori & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2019. "Upward and downward bias when measuring inequality of opportunity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 52(4), pages 635-661, April.
    19. Haas, Steven, 2008. "Trajectories of functional health: The 'long arm' of childhood health and socioeconomic factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 849-861, February.
    20. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    21. Khanam, Rasheda & Nghiem, Hong Son & Connelly, Luke B., 2009. "Child health and the income gradient: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 805-817, July.
    22. Schott, Whitney & Aurino, Elisabetta & Penny, Mary E. & Behrman, Jere R., 2019. "The double burden of malnutrition among youth: Trajectories and inequalities in four emerging economies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 80-91.
    23. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
    24. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    25. Dercon, Stefan & Sánchez, Alan, 2013. "Height in mid childhood and psychosocial competencies in late childhood: Evidence from four developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 426-432.
    26. Aizawa, Toshiaki, 2019. "Ex-ante Inequality of Opportunity in Child Malnutrition: New Evidence from Ten Developing Countries in Asia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 144-161.
    27. Roderick Floud & Kenneth Wachter & Annabel Gregory, 1990. "Height, Health, and History: Nutritional Status in the United Kingdom, 1750-1980," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number flou90-1, June.
    28. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
    29. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
    30. Escobal, Javier & Flores, Eva, 2008. "An Assessment of the Young Lives Sampling Approach in Peru," MPRA Paper 56483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    31. Duc, Le Thuc, 2011. "Height and Cognitive Achievement of Vietnamese Children," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2211-2220.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequalities; life course; early life conditions; inequality of opportunity; random forest; young lives;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:42:y:2020:i:7. 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: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.