Socioeconomic Inequality in Child Malnutrition in India: Searching for a SES Gradient

Sumit Mazumdar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Papiya Guha Mazumdar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

This paper examines the linkage between poverty and socioeconomic inequality and malnutrition among Indian children to delineate the risks of poverty influencing nutritional outcomes. Using data from the recent NFHS 3, clustering of malnutrition is examined comparatively among the poor and non-poor and concentration indices employed to summarize socioeconomic inequality in child malnutrition, which is decomposed to identify the associated factors. Poverty, in terms of the wealth index, has considerable impact on average rates of malnutrition as evident from stark differentials between the poor and the rich. The concentration index also indicates disproportional burden of malnutrition among the poor. Decomposition analysis of inequality in malnutrition provides further evidence indicating how poverty deepens inequality in malnutrition. The wealth index alone explains more than half the inequality which justifies the poverty-nutrition inequality linkage. The paper highlights the influence of poverty in deepening malnutrition leading to unequal nutritional outcomes.

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Presented in Poster Session 5