Geographic Decomposition of Inequality in Health and Wealth: Evidence from Cambodia
The small-area estimation developed by Elbers, Lanjouw and Lanjouw (2002, 2003), in which a census and a survey are combined to produce the estimates of welfare measures for small geographic areas, has become a standard tool for poverty analysis in developing countries. The small-area estimates are typically plotted on a map, which are commonly called a poverty map. Poverty maps proved useful for policy analysis and formulation, and have become increasingly popular among policy-makers and researchers. In Cambodia, poverty maps have been used by various international organizations, ministries and non-governmental organizations for analyzing the poverty situations for their operation areas, selecting the potential locations for their projects and programs, and educating students in classrooms (Fujii, 2007). Besides creating poverty maps, the small-area estimation has been used for a wide array of purposes. For example, it has been used to analyze geographic targeting (Elbers et al., 2007 and Fujii, 2008), consumption inequality (Elbers et al., 2004), local inequality and crime (Demombynes and zler, 2005), and impacts of trade liberalization (Fujii and Roland-Holst, 2008). In this paper, we offer another new application of the small-area estimation; We use the small-area estimation to look at whether poverty is more spatially unequally distributed than child undernutrition. More precisely, we decompose inequality of consumption and child nutrition status into the within-group and between-group inequalities at various levels of spatial aggregation, and compare the decomposition results. While it is widely known that the health and wealth are positively correlated, it is not clear whether the spatial inequality in health and wealth necessarily exhibits a similar pattern. The significance of this point can be easily understood in a simple example. Suppose that the wealthy people in a country only live in the north and poor people only in the south, and suppose further tha
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