Intra-household Nutritional Inequities and Household Shocks

By: Anna D'Souza   Sharad Tandon  

Several studies find that in response to negative income and price shocks, households sacrifice diet quality and relatively expensive forms of calories to better maintain total calorie consumption. There is, however, little evidence on how the decline in diet quality is distributed across individual household members. We investigate how intra-household distributions of calories and nutrients respond to negative shocks using representative rural panel data from the 2011-12 and 2015 Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey. The data include individual-level dietary intake and household-level shocks (e.g., death of main earner, loss of assets, etc.) for over 5,000 households. We use a household fixed effects model to account for unobserved heterogeneity. Preliminary results suggest that negative shocks may disproportionately affect some members. The results have implications for the design of food and nutrition programs (e.g., nutritional safety nets that more explicitly account for gender dynamics). Given the growing recognition of the importance of measuring food and nutrition security at the individual level and the strong emphasis on gender equality in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we believe that knowing who is most affected when impoverished households cope with shocks is critical to tackling the first two SDGs of poverty and hunger.

"Nutrition", " Food Poverty", " Food Security"
Food, Nutrition, and Health
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Anna D'Souza

-, -, City University of New York, United States
New York, United States

Anna D’Souza is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY). Her recent research examines various aspects of household food security, including the impact of food price shocks and the measurement of food security. She investigates policy-oriented questions using recent household survey data from developing countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. Her other research interests include corruption, institutions and governance, and international trade. Prior to joining Baruch College, Anna was a Research Economist at the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was also a visiting school at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. She received a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S. in Finance and Economics from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Prior to her graduate studies, Anna served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Dakar, Senegal. Anna has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and was an adjunct professor of econometrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Dr. Sharad Tandon

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