IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Determinants of Child Weight and Height in Sri Lanka: A Quantile Regression Approach

  • Aturupane, Harsha
  • Deolalikar, Anil B.
  • Gunewardena, Dileni

Reducing child malnutrition is a key goal of most developing countries. To combat child malnutrition with the right set of interventions, policymakers need to have a better understanding of its economic, social and policy determinants. While there is a large literature that investigates the determinants of child malnutrition, it focuses almost exclusively on mean effects of these determinants. However, socioeconomic background variables and policy interventions may affect child nutrition differently at different points of the conditional nutritional distribution. Using quantile regressions, this paper explores the effects of variables such as a child?s age, sex and birth order; household expenditure per capita; parental schooling; and infrastructure on child weight and height at different points of the conditional distributions of weight and height using data from Sri Lanka?s Demographic and Health Survey. Results indicate that OLS estimates can be misleading in predicting the effects of determinants at the lower end of the distributions of weight and height. For example, even though on average Sri Lankan girls are not nutritionally-disadvantaged relative to boys, among children at the highest risk of malnutrition girls are disadvantaged relative to boys. Likewise, although expenditure per capita is associated with strong nutritional improvement on average, it is not a significant determinant of child height or weight at the lower end of the distribution. Similarly, parental education, electricity access, and the availability of piped water have larger effects on child weight and height at the upper quantiles than at the lower quantiles. The policy implication is that general interventions?parental schooling, infrastructure and income growth?are not as effective for children in the lower tail of the conditional weight and height distributions. These children, who are at the highest risk of malnutrition, are likely to need specialized nutritional interventions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2008/rp2008-53.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/53.

as
in new window

Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-53
Contact details of provider: Postal: Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160 Helsinki
Phone: +358-9-6159911
Fax: +358-9-61599333
Web page: http://www.wider.unu.edu/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Behrman, Jere R. & Deolalikar, Anil B., 1988. "Health and nutrition," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 631-711 Elsevier.
  2. David Stifel & Harold Alderman, 2006. "The "Glass of Milk" Subsidy Program and Malnutrition in Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 421-448.
  3. Thomas, D. & Lavy, V. & Strauss, J., 1991. "Public Policy and Anthropometric Outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 643, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Folbre, Nancy, 1984. "Household Production in the Philippines: A Non-neoclassical Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 303-30, January.
  5. Haddad, Lawrence J & Bouis, Howarth E, 1991. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 45-68, February.
  6. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  7. Folbre, Nancy, 1986. "Cleaning house : New perspectives on Households and Economic Development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 5-40, June.
  8. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
  9. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
  10. Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
  11. Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
  12. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  13. Jere Behrman & Victor Lavy, . "Child Health and Schooling Achievement: Association, Causality and Household Allocations," CARESS Working Papres 97-23, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  14. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
  15. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1995. "Quantile regression, Box-Cox transformation model, and the U.S. wage structure, 1963-1987," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 109-154, January.
  16. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  17. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1987. "How does mother's schooling affect family health, nutrition, medical care usage, and household sanitation?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 185-204.
  18. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-53. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruck Tadesse)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.