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Citation Information

Type Report
Title Regional Inequalities in Child Malnutrition in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen: A Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Analysis
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://www.ualberta.ca/~econwps/2016/wp2016-03.pdf
There is substantial evidence that on average, urban children have better health
outcomes than rural children. This paper investigates the underlying factors that
account for the regional disparities in child malnutrition in three Arab countries,
namely; Egypt, Jordon, and Yemen. We use data on a nationally representative sample
from the most recent waves of the Demographic and Health Survey. A BlinderOaxaca
decomposition analysis is conducted to decompose the rural-urban differences
in child nutrition outcomes into two components; one that is explained by regional
differences in the level of the determinants (covariate effects), and another component
that is explained by differences in the effect of the determinants on the child
nutritional status (coefficient effects). Results show that the under-five stunting rates
are 20% in Egypt, 46.5 % in Yemen, and 7.7% in Jordan. The rural- urban gap in child
malnutrition was minor in the case of Egypt (2.3%) and Jordan (1.5%), while the
regional gap was significant in the case of Yemen (17.7%). Results of the BlinderOaxaca
decomposition show that the covariate effect is dominant in the case of
Yemen while the coefficients effect dominates in the case of Jordan. Income
inequality between urban and rural households explains most of the malnutrition gap.
Results were robust to the different decomposition weighting schemes. By identifying
the underlying factors behind the rural- urban health disparities, the findings of this
paper help in designing effective intervention measures aimed at reducing regional
inequalities and improving population health outcomes.

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