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Catching up from early nutritional deficits? Evidence from rural Ethiopia

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  • Outes, Ingo
  • Porter, Catherine

Abstract

We examine the nutritional status of a cohort of poor Ethiopian children and their patterns of catch-up growth in height-for-age between three key development stages: age one, five and eight. We use ordinary least squares (within community) and instrumental variables analysis. During the earliest period, we find that nutritional catch-up patterns vary substantially across socioeconomic groups: average catch-up growth in height-for-age is almost perfect among children in relatively better-off households, while among the poorer children, relative height is more persistent. Between five and eight years of age, however, we find near-perfect persistence and no evidence of heterogeneity in catch-up growth. Our findings suggest that household wealth, and in particular access to services, can lead to substantial catch-up growth early on in life. However, for our sample, the window of opportunity to catch up appears to close as early as the age of five.

Suggested Citation

  • Outes, Ingo & Porter, Catherine, 2013. "Catching up from early nutritional deficits? Evidence from rural Ethiopia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 148-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:2:p:148-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2012.03.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Porter, Catherine & Goyal, Radhika, 2016. "Social protection for all ages? Impacts of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program on child nutrition," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 92-99.
    2. Gabriela Guerrero & Juan Leon & Kirrily Pells & Martin Woodhead, 2014. "Changing Children’s Lives Risks and Opportunities (Cambiando la vida de los niños)," Documentos de Trabajo (Niños del Milenio-GRADE) ninosmcambiandolavida, Niños del Milenio (Young Lives).
    3. Minoiu, Camelia & Shemyakina, Olga N., 2014. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 237-255.
    4. Schott, Whitney B. & Crookston, Benjamin T. & Lundeen, Elizabeth A. & Stein, Aryeh D. & Behrman, Jere R., 2013. "Periods of child growth up to age 8 years in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam: Key distal household and community factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 278-287.
    5. Laura B. Nolan, 2016. "Rural–Urban Child Height for Age Trajectories and Their Heterogeneous Determinants in Four Developing Countries," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(5), pages 599-629, October.
    6. Sailesh Tiwari & Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2017. "Monsoon Babies: Rainfall Shocks and Child Nutrition in Nepal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 167-188.
    7. Singh, Prakarsh & Masters, William A., 2016. "Behavior Change for Early Childhood Nutrition: Effectiveness of Health Worker Training Depends on Maternal Information in a Randomized Control Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 10375, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Bethelhem Debela & Gerald Shively & Stein Holden, 2015. "Does Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program improve child nutrition?," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 7(6), pages 1273-1289, December.
    9. Kalle Hirvonen, 2013. "Measuring catch-up growth in malnourished populations," Working Paper Series 5913, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Catch up growth; Nutrition; Children; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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