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Simantini Mukhopadhyay
 
''Dynamics of Child Undernutrition in India: An Analysis beyond the Headcount Ratio''
( 2016, Vol. 36 No.1 )
 
 
India's GNP at factor cost registered an increase of almost 60 percent during the period from 2001-02 to 2005-06. In the face of that, the proportion of underweight children under three years of age decreased marginally from 43 per cent to 40 per cent between 1998-99 and 2005-06. This paper argues that in order to delve deeper into the puzzle of high and almost stagnant child undernutrition, we need to look beyond the simple headcount ratio and understand the dynamics of depth and severity of undernutrition as well. For that we examine the changes in the headcount ratio and the Mean of Squared Deprivation Gaps (MSDG) of child underweight in the major states of India between 1998-99 and 2005-06. We classify the states into four zones according to the changes in headcount ratio and MSDG and find that while the headcount ratio has improved in certain states, the situation of the worst affected children has worsened further.
 
 
Keywords: Undernutrition, Indian states, Headcount Ratio, FGT Measure
JEL: I3 - Welfare and Poverty: General
I1 - Health: General
 
Manuscript Received : Nov 06 2015 Manuscript Accepted : Feb 11 2016

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