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Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries

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  • David E. Sahn
  • David C. Stifel

Abstract

We use Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to make international and inter-temporal welfare comparisons. While most poverty analyses rely on expenditures or income, we use anthropometric measures of nutrition as indicators of living standards. The advantages are that we observe individual—not household—well-being, deflators and exchange rates are unnecessary, and measurement techniques are similar across surveys. We test the robustness of the headcount results, and find that applying higher order Foster-Greer-Thorbecke poverty measures adds little information; although stochastic dominance testing of nutrition distributions reveals that changes in malnutrition are sensitive to the choice of the “nutrition poverty line”. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2002. "Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(3), pages 716-735.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:84:y:2002:i:3:p:716-735
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1467-8276.00330
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    Cited by:

    1. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2012. "An Exploratory Study of Trust and Material Hardship in Ghana," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 413-438, December.
    2. Raghbendra Jha, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Protein Deficiency in Rural India in the Last Three Quinquennial Rounds of NSS," ASARC Working Papers 2003-04, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. Liu, Xuanli & Miller, Gay Y. & McNamara, Paul E., 2005. "Do Antibiotics Reduce Production Risk for U.S. Pork Producers?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-11, December.
    4. Raghbendra Jha, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Calorie Deficiency in Rural India in the Last Three Quinquennial Rounds of NSS," ASARC Working Papers 2003-05, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    5. Bhagowalia, Priya & Chen, Susan E. & Masters, William A., 2011. "Effects and determinants of mild underweight among preschool children across countries and over time," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 66-77, January.
    6. Priya Bhagowalia & Susan E. Chen & William A. Masters, 2008. "The Distribution Of Child Nutritional Status Across Countries And Over Time," Working Papers 08-04, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    7. Richard Mussa, 2014. "A matching decomposition of the rural–urban difference in malnutrition in Malawi," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-10, December.
    8. Stifel, David C. & Averett, Susan L., 2009. "Childhood overweight in the United States: A quantile regression approach," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 387-397, December.
    9. Mussa, Richard, 2010. "Poverty and Inequality in Standards of Living in Malawi: Does Religious Affiliation Matter?," MPRA Paper 24438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha & Anurag Sharma, 2006. "On Modelling Variety in Consumption Expenditure on Food," ASARC Working Papers 2006-09, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    11. Jane Kabubo-Mariara & Anthony Wambugu & Susan Musau, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty in Kenya: Analysis of Maternal and Child Wellbeing," Working Papers PMMA 2011-12, PEP-PMMA.
    12. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Leblanc, Josée & Sahn, David E., 2011. "Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 419-437.
    13. Richard Mussa, 2013. "Spatial Comparisons of Poverty and Inequality in Living Standards in Malawi," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(2), pages 192-210, June.
    14. repec:spr:chinre:v:10:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12187-016-9378-y is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sweeney, Stuart & Davenport, Frank & Grace, Kathryn, 2013. "Combining insights from quantile and ordinal regression: Child malnutrition in Guatemala," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 164-177.
    16. Stifel, David, 2010. "The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 4(1), March.
    17. Mussa, Richard, 2011. "The poverty-inequality relationship in Malawi: A multidimensional perspective," MPRA Paper 31413, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Raghbendra Jha & Raghav Gaiha, 2004. "Undernutrition, Poverty and Growth in Rural India - A Regional Analysis," ASARC Working Papers 2004-02, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    19. Richard Mussa, 2015. "Intrahousehold and Interhousehold Child Nutrition Inequality in Malawi," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 83(1), pages 140-153, March.
    20. Borooah, Vani K., 2005. "The height-for-age of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 45-65, March.
    21. James Foster & Joel Greer & Erik Thorbecke, 2010. "The Foster–Greer–Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measures: 25 years later," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(4), pages 491-524, December.
    22. Adewara, Sunday Olabisi & Visser, Martine, 2011. "Use of Anthropometric Measures to Analyze How Sources of Water and Sanitation Affect Chidren’s Health in Nigeria," Discussion Papers dp-11-02-efd, Resources For the Future.

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