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Child Nutrition in India in the Nineties

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  • Tarozzi, Alessandro
  • Mahajan, Aprajit

Abstract

India experienced several years of fast economic growth during the 1990s, and according to many observers this period also saw a considerable decline in poverty, especially in urban areas. We use data from two rounds of the National Family and Health Survey to evaluate changes in nutritional status between 1992-93 and 1998-99 among children ages 0-3. We find that measures of short-term nutritional status based on weight given height show large improvements, especially in urban areas. Height-for-age, an indicator of long-term nutritional status, also shows improvement, but one limited to urban areas. However, we also document that the changes in nutritional status are much more favorable for boys than for girls. The gender differences in the changes over time appear to be driven by states in North India, where the existence of widespread son preference has been documented by an immense body of research.

Suggested Citation

  • Tarozzi, Alessandro & Mahajan, Aprajit, 2007. "Child Nutrition in India in the Nineties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(3), pages 441-486, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2007:v:55:i:3:p:441-86
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/511195
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-815, September.
    2. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
    3. Angus Deaton & Valerie Kozel, 2005. "Data and Dogma: The Great Indian Poverty Debate," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 177-199.
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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. Judith Clarke & Nilanjana Roy, 2012. "On statistical inference for inequality measures calculated from complex survey data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 499-524, October.
    3. Schultz, T. Paul, 2010. "Population and Health Policies," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:144:y:2017:i:c:p:40-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Deon Filmer & Kinnon Scott, 2012. "Assessing Asset Indices," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 359-392, February.
    6. S. Chandrasekhar & Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, 2009. "Poverty in Indian cities during the reforms era," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 09-07, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    7. Angus Deaton & Jean Dreze, 2008. "Nutrition in India: Facts and Interpretations," Working Papers 1071, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    8. Katsushi S. Imai & Samuel Kobina Annim & Raghav Gaiha & Veena S. Kulkarni, 2012. "Does Women's Empowerment Reduce Prevalence of Stunted and Underweight Children in Rural India?," Discussion Paper Series DP2012-11, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Dec 2012.
    9. Pathak, Praveen Kumar & Singh, Abhishek, 2011. "Trends in malnutrition among children in India: Growing inequalities across different economic groups," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(4), pages 576-585, August.
    10. Reis, Mauricio, 2012. "Differences in nutritional outcomes between Brazilian white and black children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 174-188.
    11. Perkins, Jessica M. & Khan, Kashif T. & Smith, George Davey & Subramanian, S.V., 2011. "Patterns and trends of adult height in India in 2005-2006," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 184-193, March.
    12. Imai, Katsushi S. & Annim, Samuel Kobina & Kulkarni, Veena S. & Gaiha, Raghav, 2014. "Women’s Empowerment and Prevalence of Stunted and Underweight Children in Rural India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 88-105.
    13. Maitra, Pushkar & Rammohan, Anu & Ray, Ranjan & Robitaille, Marie-Claire, 2013. "Food consumption patterns and malnourished Indian children: Is there a link?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 70-81.
    14. Steckel, Richard H., 2009. "Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
    15. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
    16. repec:spr:chinre:v:10:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12187-016-9378-y is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Menon, Nidhiya & Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen, 2009. "International Trade and the Gender Wage Gap: New Evidence from India's Manufacturing Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 965-981, May.
    18. Sylvestre Gaudin, 2011. "Son Preference in Indian Families: Absolute Versus Relative Wealth Effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 343-370, February.
    19. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Growth reference charts and the nutritional status of Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 455-468, December.

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