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Inequalities in child undernutrition in India: a decomposition analysis using NFHS 3

William Joe, Centre for Development Studies

This paper employs some of the standard decomposition techniques to comprehend causes and sources of child health inequality in India. The paper finds that apart from poverty, health outcomes are largely dependent upon biological, maternal and community level correlates. The group related inequities are notably higher wherever the levels of the event are also higher. Coming to the causes of inequalities, maternal correlates are explaining over 20 percent of the causes of health inequality. Health action on these lines along with the ongoing efforts on coverage of full immunization and normative regulations of fewer births can help to reduce the underweight inequalities by another 10 percent. Significant cluster level effect was also observed which contributed significantly (around 19 per cent) to the total inequality. Perhaps, there is also ample scope for policies in the form of community-based interventions, especially in pockets with heavy concentration of scheduled caste and tribes.

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Presented in Session 177: The risks of poverty to health and family well-being