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Does Economic Growth Reduce Child Malnutrition in Egypt? New Evidence from National Demographic and Health Survey

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  • Rashad, Ahmed

    () (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

  • Sharaf, Mesbah

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Economic growth has been widely considered an effective instrument to combat poverty, and child malnutrition. Though there is a substantial literature on the relationship between economic growth and child malnutrition in a wide range of countries, empirical evidence on this relationship is sparse in the case of Egypt. Using repeated cross sectional data from the National Demographic and Health Survey, we examine the association between income per-capita growth, at the governorate level, and child malnutrition outcomes; stunting, wasting, and underweight, in Egypt during the period 1992-2008. The association between child malnutrition and economic growth is examined within a multivariate framework using a logistic multilevel modeling approach to account for the multilevel structure of the data, and the clustering of observations. Statistics show that 29% of the children-under-5 years were stunted, 7.2% were wasted, and 6% were underweight in 2008. Results reveal that child, and household-level characteristics are more important than aggregate economic conditions (as proxied by economic growth and Gini index of income inequality) in explaining malnutrition rates in Egypt. In particular, Child age, sex, birth interval of the child, parent’s education, and household economic status are particularly important determinants of malnutrition outcomes. Results show a modest reductive effect of economic growth on child underweight and wasting rates, while the effect on stunting rates was not statistically significant. Though economic growth could be a necessary condition for combating child malnutrition, this paper shows that economic growth by itself is not sufficient and has to be complemented by other intervention measures that aim directly at improving child health and nutrition.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2015_016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Poverty, undernutrition, and child mortality: Some inter-regional puzzles and their implicationsfor research and policy," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(1), pages 89-115, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mesbah Fathy Sharaf & Ahmed Shoukry Rashad, 2016. "Regional inequalities in child malnutrition in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen: a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.
    2. Sharaf, Mesbah & Rashad, Ahmed, 2016. "Economic and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Child Nutritional Status in Egypt: A Comprehensive Analysis using Quantile Regression Approach," Working Papers 2016-4, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Mesbah Fathy Sharaf & Ahmed Shoukry Rashad, 2018. "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Infant Mortality in Egypt: Analyzing Trends Between 1995 and 2014," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 137(3), pages 1185-1199, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; Malnutrition; Stunting; Egypt;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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