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Covariate Shocks and Child Undernutrition: A Review of Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Zelalem Debebe () and Dhushyanth Raju

No 9273, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Unexpected adverse events that affect areas or populations widely (covariate shocks) can have major consequences for the welfare of a society. Although the negative effects on households, especially among the poor, are well established in the economics literature, fewer studies have focused on how natural, economic, and social covariate shocks affect individual welfare and particularly child nutrition status. This paper reviews the evidence on the effect of covariate shocks on child nutrition status in low- and middle-income countries, the pathways through which the effect operates, and the relationship between the timing of a child's exposure to a covariate shock and the effect on child nutrition status. The paper also examines whether public interventions can help to mitigate any negative effect and whether the effect of covariate shocks can persist in the long term. Based on findings from the synthesis of evidence, the paper presents considerations and options for public policy and future research.

Keywords: Natural Disasters; Nutrition; Hydrology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06-08
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