Exploring drivers of undernutrition across space (states) and time in India


Elisa Cavatorta, Bhavani Shankar




Prevalence of child malnutrition and agricultural performance differs greatly across Indian states. This study aims to further understanding of the causes for this.

Project details

Using states that successfully reduced undernutrition in recent years as benchmark states, the project aims to answer the question: “what would have happened to child undernutrition distributions in state x if relevant underlying determinants were distributed as they were in successful state y?”.

This is done by estimating counterfactual distributions of undernutrition (measured by height-for-age z-scores). Using a flexible decomposition technique, the project decomposes the undernutrition gaps into differences in underlying factors (such as maternal health and education, sanitation, and agriculture) and differences in behavioural responses to those factors.

The project isolates the contribution of single determinants to nutritional outcomes to shed some light on potential policy interventions.

Final results are not yet available.