Sibling Rivalry and Birth Order Effects on Nutritional Status of Children

Anoshua Chaudhuri, San Francisco State University

Children are rivals for household resources. In the presence of an in-kind transfer from a maternal and child health program, the question of intra-household allocation of these resources becomes even more interesting. Previous work by the same author indicates that improved resources reduce gender gap amongst children. To extend it further, this paper investigates the extent to which investment in girls and boys is affected by their birth order, the number of siblings sharing the resource as well as by the gender composition of siblings. Using reduced form demand functions and data from the 1996 Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey, preliminary results indicate that birth order has no significant effect on the nutritional status of boys and girls. However, having more siblings result in poorer nutritional status in children and this effect is larger if there are more male than female siblings.

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Presented in Session 102: Household Structure and Child Wellbeing in Developing Countries