Undernutrition in Bolivia: Geography and Culture Matter
The prevalence of health problems and malnutrition in Bolivia is shockingly high, even relative to other developing countries. This study analyzes the association between a bidimensional measure of child health -composed of height and weight z-scores -and a set of child nutrition determinants related to physical and cultural contexts, the mother`s characteristics, household assets and access to public services. The paper seeks to identify the main determinants of child health and to measure the impact of each factor related to the bidimensional indicator. A sequential strategy is adopted in order to estimate a two-equation linear model with correlated error terms. A major finding is that geographical and cultural variables are significant determinants of nutritional status, and that the role of the mother`s anthropometrical characteristics is substantial. This study uses data from a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) on over 3,000 children.
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