IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Maternal autonomy and child nutrition: Evidence from rural Nepal


  • Diane Dancer
  • Anu Rammohan


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze the main determinants of child nutrition in rural Nepal, focusing on the influential role of maternal autonomy. Design/methodology/approach - This paper uses data from the 2006 Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) to estimate econometric models using OLS and logit techniques. The dependent variables are the two anthropometric measures of child weight-for-height (a measure of wasting) and height-for-age (a measure of stunting). Findings - No evidence was found of gender discrimination against the girl child in either of our nutritional measures. However, our results show that the explanatory variables have differential effects on male and female children. Estimation results show that maternal autonomy variables have a limited influence on child nutrition measures, but household wealth has a large positive impact on child nutrition, both short-term and long term. Originality/value - The large sample size and the range of questions available in our nationally representative dataset, allows us to explore the influence of household level social and economic factors on child nutrition. A study of the role of maternal decision-making power and control over assets on the nutritional status of children is an important issue in a developing country like Nepal, where health and education outcomes remain poor for large segments of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Diane Dancer & Anu Rammohan, 2009. "Maternal autonomy and child nutrition: Evidence from rural Nepal," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 18-38, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:igdrpp:v:2:y:2009:i:1:p:18-38

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


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

    Cited by:

    1. Richards, Esther & Theobald, Sally & George, Asha & Kim, Julia C. & Rudert, Christiane & Jehan, Kate & Tolhurst, Rachel, 2013. "Going beyond the surface: Gendered intra-household bargaining as a social determinant of child health and nutrition in low and middle income countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 24-33.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11404 is not listed on IDEAS


    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:eme:igdrpp:v:2:y:2009:i:1:p:18-38. 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: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.