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The Impact Of Household-Level Determinants Of Child Health And Nutrition: Cross-Country Evidence From West Africa

  • Penders, Christopher L.
  • Staatz, John M.

Poor child health and nutrition persist throughout West Africa. This research analyzes the impact of key economic variables, including income, education and background characteristics, on child health and nutrition across nine different countries. The results are interpreted in the context of differing levels of economic development among these nations. The findings do not show wealth and parental education to be robust across the sample, but maternal background characteristics have a positive, statistically significant and highly consistent effect across all the countries. The importance of mothers' height does not simply represent a genetic influence, but can be interpreted to signify that women with a healthier upbringing, and hence taller, have healthier children, ceteris parabus. This finding is consistent with long run observations that increases in health (and height) coincide with economic development.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL with number 20586.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea01:20586
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  1. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
  2. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1985. "Health and Nutrient Consumption across and within Farm Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 212-23, May.
  3. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
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  6. Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2000. "Overcoming child malnutrition in developing countries: past achievements and future choices," 2020 vision discussion papers 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023 Elsevier.
  8. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
  9. Strauss, John, 1990. "Households, Communities, and Preschool Children's Nutrition Outcomes: Evidence from Rural Cote d'Ivoire," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 231-61, January.
  10. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1992. "Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 301-331, October.
  11. D. E. Sahn & D. C. Stifel, 2002. "Parental Preferences for Nutrition of Boys and Girls: Evidence from Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 21-45.
  12. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
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