Public policy and anthropometric outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire

by Duncan Thomas, Victor Lavy, John Strauss


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Household survey data from the Cote d'Ivoire are used to examine the impact of public policies on child height, child weight for height, and adult body mass index. Economic adjustment programs in the 1980s were accompanied by reduced availability and quality of health care services and increases in relative food prices. The health of Ivorians was probably adversely affected by these changes. Basic services, such as immunizations and having simple materials, such as common drugs, in stock are associated with improved child health. Higher food prices have a significantly detrimental impact on the health of both children and adults.

Originally published in: The Journal of Public Economics, v. 61, 1996, pp. 155-192.

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