Impact of macro-level economic improvement on child health: childhood malnutrition in Ghana, 1988-2003

Jemima A. Frimpong, University of Pennsylvania
Roland Pongou, Brown University

Our study aims to examine the impact of macro-level economic improvement in Ghana on childhood malnutrition during the period 1988-2003, and to identify the intermediate socioeconomic and environmental factors that mediated this impact. The 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003 nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) were analyzed. Logistic regression model adjusting for heterokedasticity and intra-cluster correlation was used to estimate the relative risk of being malnourished. Preliminary results suggest that underweight and stunting had different response to economic growth. Underweight fell progressively while stunting increased in the late 1990s following a decline in the earlier period. This unavoidably raises the question of the mechanism linking macro-level economic changes to different measures of child health. The motivating factor of this study is the elimination of malnutrition. Further analysis will be conducted to estimate the effects of change in the distribution of socioeconomic factors affecting child health on trends in malnutrition.

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Presented in Session 26: Open forum 1