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Labor and Women's Nutrition: The Impact of Work Effort and Fertility on Nutritional Status in Ghana

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  • Paul A. Higgins
  • Harold Alderman

Abstract

Economic approaches to nutrition have focused largely on measures of child nutrition and thus have been able to ignore the issue of individual heterogeneity in energy expenditures. Ignoring such an issue may be bad science, however, especially given the case of adults, whose waking hours are devoted mostly to labor activities, the energy costs of which vary enormously. An instrumental variables technique was employed to obtain consistent estimates of the structural parameters of the nutrition production function for adult women in Ghana. Energy expenditure, as embodied in individual time allocations over the previous seven days, was found to be an important determinant of female nutritional status, with time devoted to agricultural tasks, in particular, having a strong negative effect. Perhaps most importantly, evidence was found of a substantial downward bias of the calorie elasticity estimate when the energy expenditure proxies were excluded.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. Higgins & Harold Alderman, 1997. "Labor and Women's Nutrition: The Impact of Work Effort and Fertility on Nutritional Status in Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 577-595.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:3:p:577-595
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    Cited by:

    1. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Food Aid and Child Nutrition in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, pages 1309-1324.
    2. Chandana Maitra & Prof. D.S Prasada Rao, 2014. "Poverty-Food Security Nexus: Evidences from a Survey of Urban Slum Dwellers in Kolkata," Discussion Papers Series 512, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. Dercon, Stefan & Hoddinott, John, 2003. "Health, Shocks and Poverty Persistence," WIDER Working Paper Series 008, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Johnston, Deborah & Stevano, Sara & Malapit, Hazel J. & Hull, Elizabeth & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2015. "Agriculture, gendered time use, and nutritional outcomes: A systematic review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1456, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, "undated". "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Working Papers 97019, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    6. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen, 2012. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Price and Income Related Shocks in Malawi and Uganda," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-014, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    7. Maitra, Chandana & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2015. "Poverty–Food Security Nexus: Evidence from a Survey of Urban Slum Dwellers in Kolkata," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 308-325.
    8. Renuka Mahadevan & Vincent Hoang, 2016. "Is There a Link Between Poverty and Food Security?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 179-199, August.
    9. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Rischke, Ramona, 2016. "Analyzing nutritional impacts of price and income related shocks in Malawi: Simulating household entitlements to food," Food Policy, Elsevier, pages 31-43.
    10. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 1999. "Human Capital, Productivity, and Labor Allocation in Rural Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 369-406.
    11. Scanlan, Stephen J., 2004. "Women, Food Security, and Development in Less-Industrialized Societies: Contributions and Challenges for the New Century," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1807-1829, November.
    12. Sonoda, Tadashi & Ashok, Mishra & Vu, Thi Bich Lien, 2016. "Effects of Market Work and Own Household Work on Nutrition Intake of Rural Adults: The Case of Vietnam," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235818, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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