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The Association between Food Insecurity and Child Health Outcomes in Low and Middle-income Countries

Fafanyo Asiseh (), Cephas Naanwaab and Obed Quaicoe ()
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Fafanyo Asiseh: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC., USA
Obed Quaicoe: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC., USA

Journal of African Development, 2018, vol. 20, issue 2, 79-90

Abstract: Millions of people in developing and middle-income countries continue to experience food insecurity daily. A growing number of studies have associated food insecurity with poorer health outcomes using cross sectional data and household level data. Few of these studies have looked at longitudinal relationship between food insecurity and health outcomes. This study analyses the relationship between food insecurity and child health outcomes in middle and low-income countries using a longitudinal macro level data. The study also introduces two unique instrumental variables, size of arable land and openness to trade, to estimate this relationship. The regressions confirm previous study results that food insecurity has a significant positive relationship with child anemia and child mortality. Food insecurity has a significant negative relationship with life expectancy. Using the instrumental variable approach shows that the estimates are greater than when no instruments are used. Our work suggests that previous studies have underestimated the impact of food insecurity on child health outcomes.

Keywords: Child health; developing countries; food insecurity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:20:y:2018:i:2:p:79-90