Understanding Pathways of Social Group Disparity in Child Malnutrition in India: Evidence from 1992 to 2005
Subhranshu Upadhyay, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Mayank Prakash, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Using three rounds of National Family Health Survey data (1992-2006), present study examined disparity in child malnutrition between indigenous (SC/ST) and non indigenous (Other) caste groups in India. We used Fairlie decomposition analysis to quantify health inequality and interaction between caste and other socioeconomic factors i.e. whether the effect of caste in health inequality remains constant across other factor. Findings revealed that malnutrition reduced marginally since 1992 and remained disproportionately skewed towards SC/ST children. There is an increase in wealth based inequality over the period. Wealth, maternal education and toilet facility explained more than 80% of nutritional disparity across all the three rounds. Interaction of caste outlined maternal education, wealth, toilet facility and time as significant predictors of this disparity. The study necessitates need of implementing target specific policies and strategies to improve mother’s education, access to basic amenities and development of capacity to ameliorate this health divide.