The Relationship between Child Deprivation and Household Deprivation: Evidence from Vietnam

Tran, Quang Van (1); Nguyen, Thuy Le Hang (2) (2016). 'The Relationship between Child Deprivation and Household Deprivation: Evidence from Vietnam' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.


abstract
There has been a great deal of the literature on household poverty as well as on child poverty using income and non-income approaches. Yet, little is known about the relationship between child poverty and inherited poverty. In a study from India, Singh and Sarkar (2014) applied to Young Lives data and find that childhood deprivation is not confined only to monetarily poor households. However, the monetary measurement of poverty is being increasingly criticized as markets may function imperfectly (Bourguignon and Chakravarty, 2003). Also, the improvement in outcomes, or human development, is more important than the changes in inputs, such as income or consumption. This study therefore investigates the relationship between child poverty and household poverty using non-monetary measurements. The goals are to find whether a deprived household has a deprived child, whether a deprived household has a non-deprived child, and which subgroups of children are more vulnerable to multidimensional deprivation.
In order to find answers to such research questions, I apply the Alkire-Foster (2011) method to construct the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) for each household as well as for each child. The exercise is applied to data from Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS) Vietnam 2010 which covers approximately 4000 under-five children. The survey’s questionnaire includes an under-five child information section which allows the analysis of multidimensional child poverty. For the sake of comparison, only households with an under-five child are included in the analysis.
A household’s MPI includes three dimensions of health, education and living standard. Health is measured by three indicators of child mortality, mosquito net usage, and hand washing. Education is measured by two indicators of education and child enrollment. Living standard is measured by drinking water, sanitation, electricity, cooking fuel, flooring, and assets. A component factor analysis method is employed to estimate weights for all indicators. A household is deemed to be poor if it is deprived in more than 30% of the weighted indicators.
Similarly, a child’s MPI includes three dimensions of health, education and living standard. Health is measured by whether the child has been breast fed, weight-for-age score, and vaccination. Education is measured by availability of children’s books, availability of toys. Living standard is measured by drinking water, flooring, electricity, density of population in the dwelling. A child is deemed to be poor if it is deprived in more than 30% of the weighted indicators.
To find the relationship between child poverty and household poverty (cross-group inequality) I compare the poverty headcount ratio (the breadth of poverty), the average deprivation share among the poor (the depth of poverty) of the two groups as the whole as well as across population subgroups. The subgroups should be common to both child group and household group; they can be in the form of regions, provinces, rural/urban, and ethnicity. Joint probability tables are also useful for identifying the matching between the two groups.
To find the within-group (within the children group) inequality I compare the two measures of poverty children across subgroups. In addition to the subgroups mentioned above, children can be also divided into subgroups of boys and girls in order to find gender inequality. Additionally, I also uncover the MPI find which indicator is the major contribution to the difference in boys’ and girls’ deprivation. Moreover, I compare the two measures of poverty across subgroups of children by mother’s or care taker’s educational attainment in order to find the role of mother’s or care taker’s knowledge in improving a child’s health. All the within- and cross-group comparisons will be tested to check whether the results are statistically significant and the level of correlation between child poverty and household poverty.
The findings from this study are useful for evaluation and assessment of development policies as they inform which subgroups of household/children benefit more or less from economic growth, which subgroups of household/children are more vulnerable to poverty, which subgroups of households are more likely to have deprived children, as well as which advantages boys might have over girls and to which community it happens. Also, this study is an important contribution to the literature of multidimensional poverty, particularly of the relationship between child poverty and inherited poverty. 

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