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Changing Wealth Inequalities in Child Nutrition in Indian States
Authors: Simantini Mukhopadhyay
Source: Economic and Political Weekly, 55(10)
Topic(s): Child health
Health equity
Nutrition
Wealth Index
Country: Asia
  India
Published: MAR 2020
Abstract: How have wealth inequalities in child nutrition changed in the major states of India between the last two rounds of the National Family Health Survey? The temporal change in the likelihood of child stunting in the poorest quintile of households vis-à-vis the richer quintiles is examined. Alternative measures of wealth inequality in child nutrition, based on the ranking of the households’ wealth scores (namely the concentration index and the extended concentration index), are also used to see how the magnitudes have changed. The poorly performing states have not only retained the last ranks in terms of average stunting, but have also faltered in the reduction of stunting during the decade under study. In three of these states, the improvement in child stunting has disfavoured the poor by all measures. Comparing the concentration index and the extended concentration index for the two rounds, it is found that inequality in stunting has increased in all the states excluding Uttarakhand. This calls for immediate policy attention, since children from the poorest households in the backward states seem to suffer from the dual burden of the state effect and the class effect.
Web: https://www.epw.in/journal/2020/10/special-articles/changing-wealth-inequalities-child-nutrition.html