How Does Composition of Household Income Affect Child Nutrition Outcomes? Evidence from Uganda

This study attempts to fill the knowledge gap between the cross-country analyses that explore the links between income and nutrition without insights on micro-level determinants, and the numerous microeconomic studies that suggest mechanisms of impact but are hindered by some combination of small sample size, incomplete data, and questionable approaches to impact estimation. The analysis uses the three annual waves of the Uganda National Panel Survey, and features panel regressions of child anthropometric outcomes controlling for time-invariant childlevel heterogeneity and other time-variant observables. The paper starts by looking at how the outcomes correlate with short-term changes in rural household income. The impact is subsequently differentiated by sector of income, first between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, and by type of agriculture. The analysis documents no impact of short-term changes in total gross income on weight-related measures but documents positive effects on height-related outcomes. Sector-differentiated analyses indicate that only the share of income originating from non-farm self-employment exerts positive and statistically significant effects on both height and weight measures. For height, the income shares pertaining to (i) consumption of own crop production and (ii) low-protein crop production appear to be underlining the negative effect of the share of income originating from crop production. The results suggest stickiness of crop production to own consumption, and while this may be nutrition-supporting in some contexts, income growth in the production of low-nutrient crops in Uganda may crowd out consumption of other goods and services that have the potential to serve as better nutritional investments.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
C23; I12; O12; O15; Q12

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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