Costly posturing: Relative status, ceremonies and early child development
Though social spending facilitates risk-pooling in the impoverished regions, too many resources devoted to social occasions may impose negative externalities and hinder efforts to alleviate poverty for households living close to subsistence. Conducting three waves census-type panel survey in rural western China with well-defined reference groups and detailed information on social occasions, gift exchanges, nutrients intake and health outcomes, we find that the squeeze effect originated from lavish ceremonies is associated with lower height-for-age zscore, higher probability of stunting and underweight in early child development. The lasting impact suggests that 'catch up' is limited. The squeeze is stronger for the fetal period and towards the lower tail of the distribution. Specifically, 39.2%, 33.3% and 64.6% of the sampled households suffer from net squeeze effect on stunting, underweight and lower height-for-age zscore, respectively. The squeeze effect is stronger for 1-3 age cohorts and between 2007 and 2009. We provide suggestive evidence on the intermediate pathways linking social events with poor health outcomes, such as share of food expenditure and basic nutrients intake. Our findings suggest more efficient policy interventions that target the households with pregnant women and of lower social rankings.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (+49) (0) 345 / 29 28 0
Fax: (+49) (0) 345 / 29 28 199
Web page: http://www.iamo.de/Email:
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008.
"Subjective welfare, isolation, and relative consumption,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-60, April.
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2006. "Subjective Welfare, Isolation and Relative Consumption," CEPR Discussion Papers 6002, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2006. "Subjective Welfare, Isolation, and Relative Consumption," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-056, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007.
"Child mortality, income and adult height,"
230, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007. "Child mortality, income and adult height," Working Papers 162, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus S. Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007. "Child Mortality, Income and Adult Height," NBER Working Papers 12966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003.
"Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition,"
FCND discussion papers
168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
- Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
- Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND briefs 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Brown, Philip H. & Bulte, Erwin & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2010.
"Positional spending and status seeking in rural China,"
IFPRI discussion papers
983, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Brown, Philip H. & Bulte, Erwin & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "Positional spending and status seeking in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 139-149, September.
- 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.
- Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997.
"Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil,"
97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1997. "Health and wages: Evidence on men and women in urban Brazil," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 159-185, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:iamo11:7. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.