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Can household food security predict individual undernutrition? Evidence from Cambodia and Lao PDR

Autor: Dorothee Bühler and Rebecca Hartje and Ulrike Grote
Nummer: 594, May 2017, pp. 41
JEL-Class: Q18, I15, O15

Abstract:
This paper uses a novel data set of marginalized households from Cambodia and Lao PDR to better understand different food security concepts. The multitude of indicators available raises the question how these indicators relate to each other and whether they are suitable to detect undernutrition of individuals. In the analysis we identify the causes of food insecurity in relation to a number of different food security concepts and examine the links between the food security status of households and individuals using anthropometric data of children under five. The regression results show that the different indicators of food security at the household level capture fundamentally different aspects of food security. In addition, household food insecurity only explains a small share of child undernutrition. We call for more research on intra-household allocation of food and stress the implications of our research for the design and targeting of food and nutrition support programs.

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