Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height.
A Brazilian household survey, ENDEF, in 1974-75 and the 1974 Informacoes Basicas Municipais (IBM) provided data for the analysis of the impact of community services and infrastructure and household characteristics on the logarithm of child height, standardized for age and gender. The sample was comprised of 36,974 children stratified by residential location, the child's age, and the educational level of the mother. Variance and covariance matrices were estimated with the jackknife developed by Efron (1982). Household characteristics included the logarithm of per capita expenditure as a measure of household resource availability, income, and parental education. Community characteristics were local market price indices for 6 food groups (dairy products, beans, cereals, meat, fish, and sugar), level of urbanization, buildings with sewage, water, and electricity connections per capita, per capita number of buildings, and population density. Health services were measured as per capita number of hospitals and clinics and doctors and nurses, and the number of beds are hospital. Educational services include a measure of student teacher ratios, elementary school class size, and per capita number of teachers living in the community. the results show that expenditure had a positive, significant effect on the height of children 2 years and older. Expenditure was a significant determinant for literate and illiterate mothers, and not well educated mothers. The impact of maternal education was largest on the length of babies and declined with the age of the child. Father's education had not impact of length of babies. The effect of parents' education was complementary. The effect of father's education was largest when mothers had some education. Better educated parents had healthier children. Maternal rather than paternal height had an impact of the length of a baby. In the community models, prices had a significant effect on child height, in both urban and rural areas, in all age groups, and for all levels of maternal education. Higher prices were associated with shorter children. Joint price and expenditure interactions were significant. Children at the top of the expenditure distribution were more affected by some prices than by others. Capital building improvements alone and with expenditures were all positively associated with child height. Only nurses per capita impacted on child height.
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