Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling in the Demand for Child Micronutrient Status

CID Faculty Working Paper No. 93

Steven A. Block
August 2002


This study extends the literature on the demand for child height to consider the demand for child micronutrient status. Micronutrient malnutrition is a pervasive and debilitating problem in many developing countries. A central focus concerns the distinct roles of maternal schooling versus maternal nutrition knowledge as determinants of micronutrient status. Applying both parametric and non-parametric techniques to Indonesian household data, the study finds that critical determinants include: child gender and age, the number of children in the household, household expenditure levels, access to water, and maternal nutrition knowledge. Maternal schooling contributes to child micronutrient status primarily through its effect on nutrition knowledge (for which schooling is not the primary source), and possibly through its effect on household expenditures.

Keywords: micronutrient status, health, education, human resources

JEL subject codes: I12, I31, I21, O15