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Does the sectoral composition of growth affect child stunting reductions?

Sébastien Mary (), Kelsey Shaw and Sergio Gomez Y Paloma

Development Policy Review, 2019, vol. 37, issue 2, 225-244

Abstract: This article uses a natural experiment based on random and exogenous variations in temperature to examine whether the sectoral composition of growth has an effect on child stunting reductions. Agricultural growth is central to food security strategies in developing countries, as it is often considered the most effective way to fight (child) undernutrition. The evidence base to support the putative superior role of agricultural growth is, however, relatively weak, possibly because studies have ignored growth faltering. Accounting for the latter, we find that while both agricultural and non‐agricultural growth decrease stunting, agricultural growth is significantly superior to non‐agricultural growth in this regard. The estimated impacts are large, in that a 10% increase in agricultural GDP per capita reduces child stunting by 9.6% (as opposed to 8.4% for non‐agricultural).

Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:37:y:2019:i:2:p:225-244