Is Women’s Ownership of Assets instrumental in reducing Child Stunting in India?

Akancha Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Women’s asset ownership is an important tool to promote development by empowering women and increasing productivity and welfare. The lack of relatable evidence, however, mars attempts to evaluate these claims. I utilize the data from the fourth round of NFHS. A composite variable for asset ownership was created by using four separate components: ownership of land, house, mobile phone and bank account. The variable were ranked from 0 to 1, with 0 indicating a woman having none of the assets and 1 indicating that she owns all four assets. The children whose mothers owns all four assets are 0.9 times less likely to be stunted as compared to children of those mothers who don't own any asset at all. At the median, a one unit increase in this asset index increases the HAZ score by 4.9 points compared to 5.9 and 9.0 points at the 75th and 90th quantiles, respectively. Children at the left tail of the distribution may have a disparate marginal response to a given independent variable than healthier children at the median or right tail of the distribution. The analysis confirms that women’s asset ownership impacts the long-term health of those children who are already relatively healthy.

Keywords: Demographic and social surveys, Children and youth, Data visualisation

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P19.