Reducing Child Mortality and Malnutrition: Cross-Country Evidence on the Role of Growth and Social Indicators.
Forthcoming, Economic & Political Weekly
27 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2018 Last revised: 1 Sep 2019
Date Written: October 16, 2018
In this paper, we examine whether the world is on track for meeting its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) regarding child mortality and malnutrition by investigating the cross-country panel data covering 86 developing countries between 2000 and 2016. We take the immediate-underlying-basic determinants framework developed in previous studies and apply panel data and instrumental variables techniques after correcting for prevailing heteroskedasticity and auto-correlation. We then estimate the consequent reduction in child mortality and malnutrition in various countries under varying growth scenarios and policy emphasis on improving certain social indicators. We find that by 2030, the world largely with the notable exception of sub-Saharan Africa would achieve the child mortality goals, though a strong focus on social indicators along with the growth could lift a majority of the remaining sub-Saharan African countries too. However, on the malnutrition front, performance would be far from satisfactory and most of the countries would fail. Nevertheless, growth will still play a dominant role particularly in Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and South Asia whereas in sub-Saharan Africa and Middle-East an equal focus on improving social indicators would be needed as well.
Keywords: Child Malnutrition, Stunting, Child Mortality, Growth vs Development, Developing Countries
JEL Classification: I15, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation