Chronic child poverty and health outcomes in South Africa using a multidimensional poverty measure

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP19/2020
 
Publication date: October 2020
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

In this paper, we examine the differences in health outcomes between children residing in poor and non-poor households. In order to identify household poverty, we make use of the framework of multidimensional poverty as introduced by Alkire and Foster (2011). In our sample, we follow all children (defined as individuals aged 18 years or younger) over the period 2012- 2017, using the last three waves of the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS). We find great disparities in health and well-being among children depending on the classification of the household as being poor or non-poor. In addition, children residing in households which are chronically poor (i.e. are observed to remain in poverty over time) have worse health outcomes than children residing in households which move in and out of poverty, pointing towards the negative effects of poverty traps. Finally, we rely on the previous work conducted by Wagstaff et al (2004) to explore some of the causes of child health inequalities in South Africa, including maternal education, water and sanitation and social norms (which includes the prevalence of female-headed households and the decision-making power of women in the household).

 
JEL Classification:

I14, I31, I32

Keywords:

Poverty measurement, poverty dynamics, health inequality, children, South Africa

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BER Weekly

1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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