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Socio-economic inequality in malnutrition among under-five children in India

Rushikesh Khadse () and Dhananjay Bansod ()
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Rushikesh Khadse: International Institute for Population Sciences
Dhananjay Bansod: International Institute for Population Sciences

Journal of Social and Economic Development, 2021, vol. 23, issue 1, No 8, 168-179

Abstract: Abstract In India, Scheduled Castes comprise one the most vulnerable sections of the society, in terms of health conditions, than the rest of the population. The paper focuses on child malnutrition and attempts to quantify the level of inequality as a contributing factor among Scheduled Castes and other population.The fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) has been used for this paper. The univariate analysis and simple chi-square test were conducted to test the association between dependent and independent variables, and further Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method was used to measure the inequality in malnutrition among children under five years across socio-economic groups. The prevalence of underweight children exhibits state-wise disparities among different caste groups. Mothers’ education, household wealth, and media exposure had a positive association with malnutrition among children of Scheduled Castes. The disparities in wealth were considerably high between the poorest and richest people. The mother's body mass index and education were major determinants affecting child malnutrition. The study showed that although the level of malnutrition decreased in India, Scheduled Castes continued to show higher malnutrition among children aged below five years. Furthermore, the contribution of wealth, body mass index and mothers’ education was major contributing factors responsible for variation in malnutrition among children from Scheduled Castes and Others (General Population) in India.

Keywords: Socio-economic; Inequality; Child malnutrition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40847-020-00143-9

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