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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Economic inequality and child stunting in Bangladesh and Kenya: an investigation of six hypotheses
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://econpapers.repec.org/article/blapopdev/v_3a37_3ay_3a2011_3ai_3a4_3ap_3a691-719.htm
I integrate the literature analyzing the relationship between economic inequality and individual health with an established framework for studying child growth faltering in developing countries. Using survey data from Bangladesh and Kenya with economic status measured by a wealth index and with three different geographic definitions of community, I analyze six competing hypotheses for how economic inequality may be related to stunting among children younger than 5 years old. I find little support for the predominant hypothesis that economic inequality as measured by a Gini index is an important predictor of individual health. Instead, I find that the difference between a household’s wealth and the mean household wealth in the community is the measure of economic inequality that is most related to stunting in these countries. In particular, a 1 standard deviation increase in community-relative household wealth is associated with a 30% to 31% decrease in the odds of stunting in Bangladesh and with a 16% to 21% decrease in the odds of stunting in Kenya

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