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Is there Complete, Partial, or No Recovery from Childhood Malnutrition? Empirical Evidence from Indonesia

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  • Subha Mani

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

In Indonesia, more than 30% of children under the age of 5 years suffer from chronic malnourishment. The long-term consequences of childhood malnutrition are well established in the literature. Yet, little is known about the extent to which these children are able to recover from some of the long-term deficits in health outcomes caused by childhood undernourishment. To capture the association between nutritional deficiency at young ages and subsequent health status, a panel data is constructed using observations on children between the age of 3 and 59 months in 1993 who are followed through the 1997 and 2000 waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey. A dynamic conditional health demand function is estimated, where the coefficient on the one-period lagged health status captures the extent of recovery, if any, from childhood malnutrition. This coefficient is also known as the 'catch-up' term. Variants of the IV/GMM estimation strategy are used here to obtain an unbiased and consistent coefficient estimate on the lagged dependent variable. While the OLS coefficient estimate on the one-period lagged health status is 0.53, it is only 0.23 in a first-difference GMM framework, indicating an upward bias in the OLS parameter estimate. A coefficient of 0.23 on the one-period lagged health status indicates that poor nutrition at young ages will cause some, but not severe, retardation in the growth of future height indicating partial catch-up effects. In the absence of any catch-up, by adolescence, a malnourished child will grow to be 4.15 cm shorter than a well-nourished child. However, a coefficient of 0.23 as estimated here indicates that by adolescence, a malnourished child will grow to be only 0.95 cm shorter than a well-nourished child. The first-difference GMM estimation strategy used here is especially attractive as it relies on much weaker stochastic assumptions than earlier papers and addresses both omitted variables bias and measurement error bias in data.

Suggested Citation

  • Subha Mani, 2008. "Is there Complete, Partial, or No Recovery from Childhood Malnutrition? Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2008-19, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-19
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Younoh, 2015. "The dynamics of health and its determinants among the elderly in developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Alderman, Harold & Behrman, Jere R. & Glewwe, Paul, 2015. "A framework for physical growth and child development:," IFPRI discussion papers 1435, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Rieger, Matthias & Wagner, Natascha, 2015. "Child health, its dynamic interaction with nutrition and health memory – Evidence from Senegal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 135-145.
    4. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Liu, Yanyan, 2011. "Girls take over: Long-term impacts of an early stage education intervention in the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 1144, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    6. Mani, Subha & Hoddinott, John & Strauss, John, 2012. "Long-term impact of investments in early schooling — Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 292-299.
    7. Viet Nguyen, Cuong, 2016. "Does parental migration really benefit left-behind children? Comparative evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 230-239.
    8. Subha Mani, 2014. "Socioeconomic Determinants of Child Health: Empirical Evidence from Indonesia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 81-104, March.
    9. Mani, Subha & Hoddinott, John & Strauss, John, 2010. "Long-term impact of investments in early schooling," IFPRI discussion papers 981, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    14. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Singh, Prakarsh, 2016. "Searching for Religious Discrimination among Anganwadi Workers in India: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 10048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    16. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0697-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Younoh Kim, 2015. "Hypertension dynamics in the elderly population," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 528-539.
    18. Sailesh Tiwari & Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2017. "Monsoon Babies: Rainfall Shocks and Child Nutrition in Nepal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 167-188.
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    21. Subha Mani & John Hoddinott & John Strauss, 2009. "Long-Term Impact of Investments in Early Schooling – Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2009-09, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    22. Sudhanshu Handa & Amber Peterman, 2016. "Is There Catch-Up Growth? Evidence from Three Continents," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 470-500, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child health; Lagged dependent variable; First-difference; Indonesia;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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