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The Other Asian Enigma: Explaining the Rapid Reduction of Undernutrition in Bangladesh

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  • Headey, Derek
  • Hoddinott, John
  • Ali, Disha
  • Tesfaye, Roman
  • Dereje, Mekdim

Abstract

Although South Asia has long been synonymous with persistent and unusually high rates of child undernutrition – the so called Asian Enigma – Bangladesh has managed to sustain a surprisingly rapid reduction in the rate of child undernutrition for at least two decades. We investigate this unheralded success through a regression and decomposition analysis of changes in child growth outcomes across five rounds of DHS surveys from 1997 to 2011. We find that rapid wealth accumulation and large gains in parental education are the two largest drivers of change, though health, sanitation, and demographic factors have played significant secondary roles.

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  • Headey, Derek & Hoddinott, John & Ali, Disha & Tesfaye, Roman & Dereje, Mekdim, 2015. "The Other Asian Enigma: Explaining the Rapid Reduction of Undernutrition in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 749-761.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:66:y:2015:i:c:p:749-761
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.09.022
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    Cited by:

    1. Headey, Derek D. & Hoddinott, John F., 2015. "Agriculture, nutrition, and the Green Revolution in Bangladesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1423, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Headey, Derek D. & Hoddinott, John, 2016. "Agriculture, nutrition and the green revolution in Bangladesh," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 122-131.
    3. Headey, Derek D. & Hoddinott, John F., 2014. "Understanding the rapid reduction of undernutrition in Nepal, 2001-2011:," IFPRI discussion papers 1384, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Fujii, Tomoki & Shonchoy, Abu S. & Xu, Sijia, 2018. "Impact of Electrification on Children’s Nutritional Status in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 315-330.
    5. Headey, Derek D. & Stifel, David & You, Liangzhi & Guo, Zhe, 2017. "Remoteness, urbanization and child nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1694, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Gelli, Aulo & Headey, Derek D. & Ngure, Francis & Becquey, Elodie & Ganaba, Rasmané & Huybregts, Lieven & Pedehombga, Abdoulaye & Sanou, Armande & Traore, Abdoulaye & Zongo, Florence & Zongrone, Aman, 2017. "Assessing the health and nutrition risks of smallholder poultry production in Burkina Faso: Insights from formative research," IFPRI discussion papers 1665, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Ly, Nguyen & Henry, Kinnucan, 2016. "Some Effects of Income and Population Growth on Fish Price and Welfare," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229892, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Kibrewossen Abay & Kalle Hirvonen, 2017. "Does Market Access Mitigate the Impact of Seasonality on Child Growth? Panel Data Evidence from Northern Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(9), pages 1414-1429, September.
    9. Lucy Scott, 2015. "Raising voice or giving assets? Reducing extreme poverty in an uncertain environment: A case study from Bangladesh," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 21315, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    10. Matthias Rieger & Sofia Karina Trommlerová, 2016. "Age-Specific Correlates of Child Growth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(1), pages 241-267, February.
    11. Lauren Hoehn Velasco, 2016. "Explaining Declines in US Rural Mortality, 1910-1933: The Role of County Health Departments," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 919, Boston College Department of Economics.
    12. International Food Policy Research Institute, 2015. "Global Nutrition Report: Actions and Accountability to Accelerate the World’s Progress on Nutrition," Working Papers id:7417, eSocialSciences.

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