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Economic and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Child Nutritional Status in Egypt: A Comprehensive Analysis using Quantile Regression Approach


  • Sharaf, Mesbah

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Rashad, Ahmed

    () (Philipps University Marburg)


This paper examines the underlying economic and socio demographic determinants of child nutritional status in Egypt using data from the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey. The Height for Age Z-score (HAZ) is used as a measurement of child growth assessment. We contribute to the extant literature by using a quantile regression model to allow for a heterogeneous effect of each determinant along different percentiles of the conditional distribution of the HAZ score. We use a nationally representative sample of 13,682 children aged 0–4 years, for which we observe their health measures. The multivariate analyses include a set of HAZ determinants that are widely used in the literature. The conditional and unconditional analyses reveal a socioeconomic gradient in child nutritional status, in which children of low income-education families have lower HAZ than children from the high income-education households. We also find significant disparities in child nutritional status by demographic and social characteristics. The quantile regression results show that the association between the economic and socio-demographic factors and the HAZ differ along the conditional HAZ distribution. Intervention measures need to take into account the heterogeneous effect of the determinants of child nutritional status along the different percentiles of the HAZ distribution. There is no one-size-fits-all policy to combat child malnutrition; a multifaceted approach would be required to address this problem effectively.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2016_004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Chen, Yuyu & Li, Hongbin, 2009. "Mother's education and child health: Is there a nurturing effect?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 413-426, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896, September.
    6. Jane Kabubo-Mariara & Godfrey K. Ndenge & Domisiano K. Mwabu, 2009. "Determinants of Children's Nutritional Status in Kenya: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(3), pages 363-387, June.
    7. Sweeney, Stuart & Davenport, Frank & Grace, Kathryn, 2013. "Combining insights from quantile and ordinal regression: Child malnutrition in Guatemala," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 164-177.
    8. Ahmed Shoukry Rashad & Mesbah Fathy Sharaf, 2015. "Catastrophic Economic Consequences of Healthcare Payments: Effects on Poverty Estimates in Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-19, November.
    9. Ahmed Rashad & Mesbah Sharaf, 2015. "Catastrophic and Impoverishing Effects of Out-Of-Pocket Health Expenditure: New Evidence from Egypt," Working Papers 974, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2015.
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    More about this item


    Child malnutrition; socio-demographic characteristics; quantile regression; Egypt;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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