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Religion and Health in Early Childhood: Evidence from the Indian Subcontinent

  • Elizabeth Brainerd

    ()

    (Economics Department, Brandeis University)

  • Nidhiya Menon

    ()

    (Economics Department, Brandeis University)

This paper studies early childhood health in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, focusing on inequalities in anthropometric outcomes by religious adherence. India and Nepal have Hindu majorities, while Bangladesh is predominantly Muslim. Results confirm a relative Muslim advantage for children less than 12 months of age in height-for-age and weight-for-age z scores primarily in India, possibly reflecting better nutritional intake from a non-vegetarian diet and the positive health endowment of Muslim women who tend to be taller than Hindu women. However this advantage disappears beyond 12 months of age, at which point Hindu children in all three countries are found to have significantly better anthropometric outcomes than Muslim children. We report tests that rule out mortality selection and undertake falsification and robustness exercises to affirm these findings.

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File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP65.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School in its series Working Papers with number 65.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:65
Contact details of provider: Postal: MS032, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Web page: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/

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