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The determinants of inequality in child nutrition status: Evidence from Jordan

Caroline Krafft

Review of Development Economics, 2022, vol. 26, issue 1, 112-132

Abstract: Early childhood is the period when inequality originates and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality begins. It is therefore important to understand what drives inequality in early childhood health and nutrition in order to provide children with equal chances for healthy growth. In Jordan, there are substantial socioeconomic disparities in children's health and nutrition; children from wealthy households grow normally while other children falter. This paper examines the determinants and mediators of health disparities in children's height and weight in Jordan, including parental health knowledge, food quantity and quality, health conditions, the health environment, and prenatal development. While this paper demonstrates that the health environment and food quantity and quality contribute to inequality in child health, these effects explain only a small share of disparities. A large share of inequality in children's health is determined prenatally, and nutrition policies need to prioritize this period.

Date: 2022
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