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The effects of meternal education versus cognitive test scores on child nutrition in Kenya

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  • Melanie Fox-Kean
  • Alok Bhargava

Abstract

This paper estimates dynamic random effects models for intakes by 100 Kenyan school children (6-9 years) of dietary energy, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamins A, C, D, and E within a multivariate longitudinal framework. The explanatory variables were socioeconomic and background variables, children’s height and weight, and maternal education, cognitive test scores and morbidity spells. The model parameters were estimated using the maximum likelihood method controlling for the unobserved between-children differences. The main findings were, first, that while maternal education was usually not a significant predictor of the intakes, maternal scores on cognitive tests strongly predicted children’s dietary intakes. Second, the paternal cognitive scores and maternal morbidity levels were not significantly associated with the intakes. Third, an index of socioeconomic status and cash income was a significant predictor. The results indicated the need to consider broader measures of human development in developing countries and of implementing educational programs for women without school education.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Fox-Kean & Alok Bhargava, 2004. "The effects of meternal education versus cognitive test scores on child nutrition in Kenya," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 39, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nawm04:39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alok Bhargava & J. D. Sargan, 2006. "Estimating Dynamic Random Effects Models From Panel Data Covering Short Time Periods," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 1, pages 3-27 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Alok Bhargava & Jiang Yu, 2006. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Infant and Child Mortality Rates in Developing Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 21, pages 289-301 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Bicego, George T. & Ties Boerma, J., 1993. "Maternal education and child survival: A comparative study of survey data from 17 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1207-1227, May.
    4. Alok Bhargava, 2006. "Identification and Panel Data Models with Endogenous Regressors," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Econometrics, Statistics And Computational Approaches In Food And Health Sciences, chapter 3, pages 49-60 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Steven Block, 2002. "Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling in the Demand for Child Micronutrient Status," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 10, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
    6. Bouis, Howarth E. & Haddad, Lawrence J., 1992. "Are estimates of calorie-income fxelasticities too high? : A recalibration of the plausible range," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 333-364, October.
    7. Bhargava, Alok, 1997. "Nutritional status and the allocation of time in Rwandese households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 277-295, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burchi, Francesco, 2010. "Child nutrition in Mozambique in 2003: The role of mother's schooling and nutrition knowledge," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 331-345, December.
    2. Alok Bhargava, 2015. "Diet Quality, Child Health, and Food Policies in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 247-276.
    3. Rubalcava, Luis N. & Teruel, Graciela M., 2004. "The role of maternal cognitive ability on child health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 439-455, December.
    4. Bhargava, Alok, 2013. "Iron status, malaria parasite loads and food policies: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 108-112.
    5. Alderman, Harold, 2007. "Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1376-1389, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anthropometry; cognitive tests; econometric models; economic development; maternal education; maximum likelihood estimation; nutrition;

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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