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Child Undernutrition in India

Author

Listed:
  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Raghbendra Jha

    ()

  • Vani S. Kulkarni

Abstract

We have constructed a composite indicator of anthropometric failure (CIAF) that refines the Waterlow-3 tier classification, using a recent nation-wide household survey. The CIAF and its disaggregation into subcategories of undernourished 5 years old children reveal a grimmer story of child undernutrition than conventional anthropometric indicators do. Besides, simultaneous occurrence of anthropometric failures (e.g. stunting and underweight, and stunting, wasting and underweight) is pervasive. Our analysis of determinants of CIAF yields some new insights-specifically, the important role of food prices. Investigation of the links between different anthropometric failures and prevalence of infectious diseases (viz. Diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection), however, offers some justification for the disaggregated classification of undernourished children used here. Specifically, those with more than one failure were worse-off in this respect than children with no failure. There is a strong case for income growth together with food price stabilisation in curbing child undernutrition. Education has the desired effect but it is less strong than expected. Improvement in the quality of home environment makes a difference too but it is not conditional on income or wealth alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Raghav Gaiha & Raghbendra Jha & Vani S. Kulkarni, 2010. "Child Undernutrition in India," ASARC Working Papers 2010-11, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-11
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    File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/asarc/pdf/papers/2010/WP2010_11.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Volkert, Jürgen & Strotmann, Harald & Moczadlo, Regina, 2014. "Sustainable Human Development: Corporate challenges and potentials. The case of Bayer CropScience's cotton seed production in rural Karnataka (India)," UFZ Discussion Papers 5/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    stunting; wasting; underweight; poverty; infectious diseases; and mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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