Economic Growth Is Associated With Reduced Child Undernutrition: A Comment On Vollmer Et Al. 2014

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Response or Comment

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USAID Economics Brief


Vollmer et al. (Lancet Global Health, 2014) employ Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data to argue that there is virtually no empirical link between economic growth and early childhood undernutrition. We re-examine this link and come to a very different interpretation. The authors’ own results imply a meaningful association between growth and undernutrition, and this link is much stronger once we correct for straightforward issues of measurement error, duration, and influence. An effective attack on early childhood undernutrition must be two-pronged, combining direct health interventions with vigorous efforts to advance economic growth.