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Catching up from early nutritional deficits? Evidence from rural Ethiopia

  • Outes, Ingo
  • Porter, Catherine

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 148-163

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:2:p:148-163
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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