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Socioeconomic Determinants of Child Health: Empirical Evidence from Indonesia

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This paper characterizes the socioeconomic determinants of child health using height‐for‐age z‐score (HAZ), a long‐run measure of chronic nutritional deficiency. We construct a panel data that follows children between ages 3 and 59 months in 1993 through the 1997 and 2000 waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey. We use this data to identify the various child‐level, household‐level and community‐level factors that affect children's health. Our findings indicate that household income has a large and statistically significant role in explaining improvements in HAZ. We also find a strong positive association between parental height and HAZ. At the community level, we find that provision of electricity and the availability of paved roads are positively associated with improvements in HAZ. Finally, in comparison to community‐level factors, household‐level characteristics play a large role in explaining the variation in HAZ. These findings suggest that policies that address the demand‐side constraints have greater potential to improve children's health outcomes in the future.
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Keywords: 012; D10; I10; Indonesia; R20; child health; height; panel data

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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