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Tall claims : mortality selection and the height of children

  • Alderman, Harold
  • Lokshin, Michael
  • Radyakin, Sergiy

Data from three rounds of nationally representative health surveys in India are used to assess the impact of selective mortality on children’s anthropometrics. The nutritional status of the child population was simulated under the counterfactual scenario that all children who died in the first three years of life were alive at the time of measurement. The simulations demonstrate that the difference in anthropometrics due to selective mortality would be large only if there were very large differences in anthropometrics between the children who died and those who survived. Differences of this size are not substantiated by the research on the degree of association between mortality and malnutrition. The study shows that although mortality risk is higher among malnourished children, selective mortality has only a minor impact on the measured nutritional status of children or on that status distinguished by gender.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5846.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5846
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  1. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
  2. Alexander Moradi, 2010. "Selective Mortality or Growth after Childhood? What Really is Key to Understand the Puzzlingly Tall Adult Heights in Sub-Saharan Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-17, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Gorgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2007. "Stunting and Selection Effects of Famine: A Case Study of the Great Chinese Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 2543, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Fogel, Robert W, 2004. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 643-58, April.
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