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A dose-response model of road development and child nutrition in Nepal

Ganesh Thapa and Gerald Shively

Research in Transportation Economics, 2018, vol. 70, issue C, 112-124

Abstract: Transportation development accompanies economic development, both as a driver of growth and as an outcome of economy-wide investments made possible by growth. Evidence of the effects of roads and road quality on human well-being is limited. This paper studies the association between district-level transportation infrastructure and district-average child nutrition outcomes in Nepal. We combine two rounds of nationally representative data on child growth from the 2006 and 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys with district-level information on roads and road quality. We estimate a dose-response function for height-for-age and weight-for-height z-scores. Results suggest that roads and road quality matter for short- and long-term nutrition outcomes for children under five years of age. Using a spatial econometric model we also observe statistically significant geographic spillovers from roads, suggesting broad and beneficial health and nutrition payoffs from transportation development.

Keywords: Nutrition; Height-for-age zscore; Weight-for-height zscore; Roads; Dose-response; Transportation; Nepal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O15 O18 I2 I3 C51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:112-124