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Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy

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This paper examines the relationship between measures of income poverty, undernourishment, childhood undernutrition, and child mortality in developing countries. While there is, as expected, a close aggregate correlation between these measures of deprivation, the measures generate some inter-regional paradoxes. Income poverty and child mortality is highest in Africa, but childhood undernutrition is by far the highest in South Asia, while the share of people with insufficient calories (undernourishment) is highest in the Caribbean. The paper finds that standard explanations cannot account for these inter-regional paradoxes, particularly the ones related to undernourishment and childhood undernutrition. The paper suggests that measurement issues related to the way undernourishment and childhood undernutrition is measured might play a significant role in affecting these inter-regional puzzles and points to implications for research and policy.

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  • Stephan Klasen, 2007. "Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 156, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:156
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    Cited by:

    1. de Haen, Hartwig & Klasen, Stephan & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 760-769.
    2. Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Measurement Issues using Income and Non-Income Indicators," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 420-445, March.
    3. cyrine hannafi & Christophe Muller, 2016. "The Poverty-Economic Growth-Health Triangle," EcoMod2016 9587, EcoMod.
    4. Joseph Cummins & Anaka Aiyar, 2017. "Age-Profile Estimates of the Relationship Between Economic Growth and Child Health," Working Papers 201812, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2018.
    5. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, "undated". "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    6. repec:wly:jintdv:v:30:y:2018:i:5:p:837-864 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2013. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in sub-Saharan Africa," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(3), pages 397-412, September.
    8. Spears, Dean, 2012. "Height and cognitive achievement among Indian children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 210-219.
    9. Rashad, Ahmed & Sharaf, Mesbah, 2015. "Does Economic Growth Reduce Child Malnutrition in Egypt? New Evidence from National Demographic and Health Survey," Working Papers 2015-16, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    10. Alkire, Sabina & Santos, Maria Emma, 2014. "Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 251-274.
    11. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2012. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in Africa," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 130164, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    12. Kimenju, Simon & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "The Nutrition Transition and Indicators of Child Malnutrition," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 195709, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    13. Stephan Klasen & Rahul Lahoti, 2016. "How Serious is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality in Multi-dimensional Poverty Indices?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 200, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    14. Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Rischke, Ramona, 2016. "Analyzing nutritional impacts of price and income related shocks in Malawi: Simulating household entitlements to food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 31-43.
    15. Indunil De Silva & Sudarno Sumarto, 2018. "Child Malnutrition in Indonesia: Can Education, Sanitation and Healthcare Augment the Role of Income?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(5), pages 837-864, July.
    16. Pasha, Atika, 2017. "Regional Perspectives on the Multidimensional Poverty Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 268-285.
    17. Simon C. Kimenju & Matin Qaim, 2016. "The nutrition transition and indicators of child malnutrition," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(3), pages 571-583, June.
    18. Maria Carmela Lo Bue, 2014. "What drives child health improvements in Indonesian households? A micro-level perspective on complementarities in MDG achievements," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 155, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    19. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:48-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, "undated". "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-013, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    21. Kenneth Harttgen & Stefan Lang & Johannes Seiler, 2017. "Selective mortality and undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Aug 2018.
    22. Bühler, Dorothee & Hartje, Rebecca & Ulrike Grote, 2017. "Can household food security predict individual undernutrition? Evidence from Cambodia and Lao PDR," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-594, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    23. Klasen, Stephan & Günther, Isabel, 2007. "Measuring Chronic Non-Income Poverty," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 10, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    24. Grosse, Melanie & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Measuring Pro-Poor Growth in Non-Income Dimensions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1021-1047, June.
    25. Akachi, Yoko & Canning, David, 2010. "Health trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Conflicting evidence from infant mortality rates and adult heights," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 273-288, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Millennium Development Goals; Undernutrition; Child Mortality; Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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