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Inequality of Opportunity in Child Health in Ethiopia


Early childhood developments such as child health is shown to affect success and wellbeing later in adulthood. While child health and nutrition are influenced by among others, parental inputs and access to public services, the latter are not equitably distributed across children, leading to inequality of opportunity (IOp). Using standardized height-for-age and weight-for-height as health outcome measures, the study decomposes the total inequality in child health and nutrition in to a part attributable to child circumstances such as parental background, and access to public services—hence IOp in child health, and a part due to random variation in health. Using the young lives survey data in 2002 and 2006, the study then demonstrates that IOp in sand nutrition has increased over this period, regardless of the method of inequality decomposition used. Further scrutiny into child circumstances driving IOp in height-for-age reveals that while access to infrastructure accounts for the highest share of IOp in 2002, mother’s religion, household wealth, access to clean water and sanitation are more responsible for the increase in IOp in 2006. Likewise, IOp in weight-for-height is mainly driven by inequality in access to infrastructure, followed by disparities in geographic location and parental background. 

Corporate Author: 
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
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Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Call Number: 
330.0963 PRO 2017
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
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Publication date: 
2017-06-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
Addis Ababa, EEA Multi-purpose Building Conference Hall
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Current frequency: 
Thematic area: 
Agriculture, Environment and Social Sector Related Topics
Conference date: 
July 21 – 23, 2016