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Did Indonesia's Cries of 1997/98 Affect Child Nutrition? A Cohort Decomposition Analysis of National Nutrition Surveillance Data

  • Steven A. Block
  • Lynnda Keiss
  • Patrick Webb
  • S. Kosen
  • Regina Moench-Pfanner
  • Martin W. Bloem
  • C. Peter Timmer

This study uses a new survey of households in rural Central Java to assess the nutritional impact of Indonesia’s drought and financial crisis of 1997/98. Applying an econometric approach that distinguishes between time, age, and cohort effects to a data set with more frequent time observations over the crisis period than has previously been available, this study reveals significant nutritional impacts. While there was no meaningful decline in child weight-for-age measures, mean weight-for-height declined by over one-third of a standard deviation. Furthermore, blood hemoglobin concentration – an even more responsive indicator, and one that provides insight into the quality, as well as the quantity of the diet – also declined sharply during the crisis. While both indicators subsequently improved, neither had recovered to its pre-crisis level by January 2001. The crisis thus significantly reversed what had previously been a ten-year period of improving nutritional status in Indonesia. We also demonstrate the efficacy of applying econometric decomposition of time, age, and cohort effects to high frequency nutrition surveillance data, and present suggestive evidence of links between maternal undernutrition and the subsequent nutrition of offspring.

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File URL: http://www.nutrition.tufts.edu/documents/fpan/wp05-indonesia_crises.pdf
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Paper provided by Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in its series Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition with number 05.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsn:wpaper:05
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.nutrition.tufts.edu

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  1. Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2001. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A 'Rapid Response' Methodology," Working Papers 482, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Levinsphn, J. & Berry, S. & Friedman, J., 1999. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis: Price Changes and the Poor," Working Papers 446, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & Lant Pritchett, 2003. "Evolution of Poverty During the Crisis in Indonesia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 221-241, 09.
  4. Deaton, A.S. & Paxson, C.H., 1992. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," Papers 161, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. Block, S. & Webb, P., 2001. "The dynamics of livelihood diversification in post-famine Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 333-350, August.
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