Socio-economic inequalities of child undernutrition in Gujarat: over-time change and inter-district disparities

Abstract

In the discourse of the lopsided development trajectory of Gujarat in which social development could not keep pace with economic development, poor child nutritional status shares a significant space. The level of child undernutrition remains higher, and its over-time decline has been slower as compared to the economically similar ranked states. Following this on, this study aims to unravel the underlying causes of poor nutritional status by examining its socio-economic, inter-district and regional disparities using data from the NFHS-1 (1992–93) and NFHS-4 (2015–2016). As analysis suggests, the underlying causes appear to be wide and persistent socio-economic and inter-district inequalities in the level of child undernutrition and inter-district variation in the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities of child undernutrition resulting from possible differentials in resource endowment across the districts of Gujarat. The paper concludes by suggesting a need of programme and policy assessment to check its effectiveness, formulate an equity-based fund devaluation system and initiate an intervention programme for children those who are socio-economically deprived.

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Correspondence to Biplab Dhak.

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Dhak, B. Socio-economic inequalities of child undernutrition in Gujarat: over-time change and inter-district disparities. J. Soc. Econ. Dev. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40847-020-00130-0

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Keywords

  • Socio-economic inequality
  • Inter-district variation
  • Child stunting
  • Gujarat