Drivers of nutritional change in four south Asian countries: a dynamic observational analysis

Derek Headey, John Hoddinott and Seollee Park

This paper quantifies the factors explaining long-term improvements in child height for age z-scores in Bangladesh (1996/1997–2011), India (1992/1993–2005/2006), Nepal (1997–2011) and Pakistan (1991–2013). We apply the same statistical techniques to data from a common data source from which we have extracted a set of common explanatory variables that capture ‘nutrition-sensitive’ factors. Three are particularly important in explaining height for age z-score changes over these timeframes: improvements in material well-being; increases in female education; and improvements in sanitation. These factors have comparable associations across all four countries.

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