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Multidimensional Poverty and Child Well-Being in Kenya

From: The Journal of Developing Areas
Volume 47, Number 2, Fall 2013
pp. 109-137 | 10.1353/jda.2013.0024



Previous child health evidence in Kenya has been based on uni-dimensional poverty analysis. Assessing the multiple aspects of child well-being can help, however, reveal complexities and ambiguities in the distribution of child well-being. This paper analyses multidimensional aspects of child poverty and well-being. Stochastic dominance approaches are used to contrast uni-dimensional and multidimensional poverty over health and assets. The results show that children with the lowest probability of survival are from households with the lowest level of assets, and that poverty assessments for child survival and assets are robust to the choice of poverty lines and to measures of well-being. The results suggest that analyzing poverty and well-being in a multidimensional context can generate a relatively rich understanding of both absolute and relative deprivation, especially where regional disparities are important. Provision of basic health care services and social protection schemes could help improve the multidimensional distribution of well-being for Kenya’s children.

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