Population Association of America Annual Meeting
31 March–2 April 2011
"Household wealth and child health in India"
Satvika Chalasani and Shea Rutstein
This paper uses data from the Indian National Family Health Surveys (1992–93, 1998–99, 2005–06) to examine how the relationship between household wealth and child health evolved during a time of significant economic change in India. The main predictor is an innovative measure of household wealth that captures changes in wealth over time. Discrete time logistic models with community fixed effects are employed to examine mortality outcomes and malnutrition—neonatal, postneonatal, child, and under-five mortality; stunting, wasting, and underweight. Analysis is conducted at the national, urban/rural, and regional levels. Results indicate that the relationship between household wealth and child malnutrition—but not child mortality—became stronger over time, particularly in rural areas. This suggests that the burden of improving the nutritional status of children is increasingly being borne by households, possibly owing to a weakening of complementary public inputs into nutrition.
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